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Five young BSI scientists win RIKEN Researcher Incentive Award 2014

The RIKEN Researcher Incentive Award is awarded to young RIKEN scientists for their significant scientific achievements. In fiscal year 2014, four research scientists and one Junior Research Associate from BSI were given a certificate of achievement by RIKEN president Dr. Ryoji Noyori.

Asuka MATSUI, Research Scientist - Molecular Mechanisms of Thalamus Development

  • Award-Winning Research
    The awardee revealed a molecular mechanism of neural circuit remodeling in the developing sensory cortex. The mechanism is conserved in different species but in different cortical sensory areas suggesting involvement in sensory neuronal circuit evolution.
  • Reference Paper
    BTBD3 Controls dendrite orientation toward active axons in mammalian neocortex. Science, 2013

Takayuki SATO, Research Scientist - Integrative Neural Systems

  • Award-Winning Research
    The awardee proved with a new approach that there is a columnar organization in monkey inferior temporal cortex. He discovered that there is also a domain structure which is larger than the columns that represent object categories arranged in a mosaic-like organization. These findings resolve a historical controversy on the structure of inferior temporal cortex and have prompted further studies.
  • Reference Paper
    Cortical columnar organization is reconsidered in inferior temporal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 2009
    Object representation in inferior temporal cortex is organized hierarchically in a mosaic-like structure. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013

Tomohisa HOSOKAWA, Research Scientist - Memory Mechanisms

  • Award-Winning Research
    The researcher studied the stoichiochemical phosphorylation of sites on AMPA glutamate receptors involved in synaptic plasticity. Surprisingly, he showed that the phosphorylation of these sites do not index the cell location of AMPA receptors at synapses, a finding with implications for mechanisms of learning and memory in brain circuits.
  • Reference Paper
    Stoichiometry and phosphoisotypes of hippocampal AMPA type glutamate receptor phosphorylation. Neuron, 2014

Kayoko ESAKI, Research Scientist - Molecular Psychiatry

Kayoko ESAKI
  • Award-Winning Research
    The awardee showed that 1-deoxy-sphingolipids (doxSLs) are generated without asphingolipid synthetic enzyme SPT mutation. A mass spectrometry-based lipidomic approach demonstrated that N-acyl-derivatives of doxSLs was the most abundant species. These results suggest a possible role of doxSLs in the pathobiology of l-serine deficiency disorders.
  • Reference Paper
    L-Serine deficiency elicits intracellular accumulation of cytotoxic deoxy-sphingolipids and lipid body formation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2015

Chie SHIMAMOTO, Junior Research Associate -Molecular Psychiatry

Chie SHIMAMOTO
  • Award-Winning Research
    The awardee identified genomic variations and altered expressions of genes coding for fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) along with the functional assessment of those variants in vitro and with behavioral analyses of knockout mice. The findings suggest that functional impairment in FABPs could underlie the shared pathophysiology between schizophrenia and ASD.
  • Reference Paper
    Functional characterization of FABP3, 5 and 7 gene variants identified in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder and mouse behavioral studies. Human Molecular Genetics, 2014