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Kimishige Ishizaka

Dr Kimishige "Kimi" Ishizaka (石坂公成 Ishizaka Kimishige?, born 3 December 1925, Tokyo) is a Japanese scientist who discovered the antibody class IgE in 1966.[1] His work has been regarded as a major breakthrough in the understanding of allergy. He was awarded the 1973 Gairdner Foundation International Award and the 2000 Japan Prize for his work in immunology.[2][3] He was elected a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1983. Pupils include Tadamitsu Kishimoto, who worked with him at Johns Hopkins. He conducted much of his scientific work together with his wife, Teruka (Terry).[4]

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Ishizaka obtained his medical qualifications and PhD from the University of Tokyo. From 1953 to 1962 he headed the immunoserology division at the department of serology at the Japanese National Institute of Health. During his position there he spent two years as a research fellow Caltech (1957-1959).[2]

He settled permanently in the US in 1962, when he assumed the post of assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Colorado Medical School, as well as chief of immunology of its associated Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital. He was promoted to associate professor in 1965. It was in Denver that he discovered IgE and its interplay with mast cells.[2]

In 1970, Ishizaka was appointed as O'Neill Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, as well as Professor of Biology at the Faculty of Arts and Science. He worked there until 1989, when many of his junior researchers lost their research funding, and he became scientific director (and president from 1990) of the new La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in La Jolla, which was being set up with support from the Kirin Brewery Company.[2][4]

He retired in 1996, and returned to Japan.[2][4]


Ishizaka received numerous awards for his work in allergy and immunology. In 1972 he received the Passano Foundation Award, and in 1973 the German Paul-Ehrlich-und-Ludwig-Darmstaedter-Preis. 1973 saw him winning the prestigious Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Takeda Medical Award and the first Scientific Achievement Award of the International Association of Allergology. In 1974 he received the Asahi Cultural Award, the Emperor's Award by the Japan Academy, and the Japanese Order of Cultural Merit.[2]


  1. ^ Ishizaka K, Ishizaka T, Hornbrook MM (1966). "Physico-chemical properties of human reaginic antibody. IV. Presence of a unique immunoglobulin as a carrier of reaginic activity". J. Immunol. 97 (1): 75–85. PMID 4162440.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Japan Prize Profile: Dr Kimishige Ishizaka. Retrieved on 2007-11-12.
  3. ^ BBC News - Japan Prize laureates announced (1999). Retrieved on 2007-11-12.
  4. ^ a b c Kimishige Ishizaka. About the founding director. La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kimishige_Ishizaka". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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