Yamanaka, Shinya, 1962–, Japanese physician and researcher, grad. Kobe Univ. (M.D., 1987), Osaka City Univ. (Ph.D., 1993). He was a professor at Osaka City Univ. (1996–99), the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (1999–2005), and the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto Univ. (2004–10). He is currently a faculty member at Kyoto Univ. and a professor at the Univ. of California, San Francisco. Yamanaka received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir John B. Gurdon for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to have the capacity to develop into every type of tissue found in an adult, a characteristic previously unique to embryonic stem cells. Yamanaka showed that embryonic-like stem cells can be created in the laboratory from adult cells of the same organism, a discovery that could enable researchers to avoid using human embryos as a source of stem cells for disease diagnosis and treatment.
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