Professor Osamu Nureki of the Department of Biological Sciences Selected for Highly Cited Researchers 2022

December 7, 2022

Professor Osamu Nureki of the Department of Biological Sciences was selected for the Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list. Each year, Clarivate chooses the recipients of Highly Cited Researchers based on the numbers of cited research articles (top 0.1%). Professor Nureki has been selected for three consecutive years since 2020. We offer him our heartfelt congratulations.

Professor Nureki is a leader in the structural biology field. He determined the 3D structures of various proteins and nucleic acids that have important functions in living organisms, and elucidated their action mechanisms at atomic levels. In particular, Professor Nureki solved the first structures of CRISPR-Cas9 (Nishimasu et al. Cell, 2014: times cited: 1,065) and channelrhodopsin (Kato et al. Nature, 2012: times cited: 355), which have been applied for genome-editing and optogenetics technologies, respectively, thereby providing significant impacts on the life sciences. Using cutting-edge techniques such as lipidic cubic phase crystallization, free-electron lasers, and cryo-electron microscopy, he has managed to analyze the structures of challenging targets, such as membrane proteins (e.g., G protein-coupled receptors) and protein-nucleic acid complexes (e.g., CRISPR-Cas enzymes). These structural findings have paved the way for many drug and therapy developments. Following his motto, “The basics of the basics is application,” he has launched several start-ups, including the genome-editing company Modalis and the structural-analysis company Curreio, to directly implement his research findings for the betterment of society. We wish him success with all his endeavors in the future.

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(Written by Professor Hiroshi Nishimasu, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology)
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