Shizuo Akira (, Akira Shizuo) (born January 27, 1953 in Higashi?saka) is a professor at the Department of Host Defense, Osaka University, Japan. He has made ground-breaking discoveries in the field of immunology, most significantly in the area of innate host defense mechanisms.
Among his greatest discoveries is the demonstration, through the ablation of toll-like receptor (TLR)s genes, that TLRs recognize a discrete collection of molecules of microbial origin, and later the RNAhelicases, RIG-I (retinoic-acid-inducible protein I) and MDA5 (melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5). All molecules belong to the pattern recognition receptors, which detects intruding pathogens and initiates antimicrobial responses in the host.
Clinical Training and Physician (1977-1980)
Research Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (1985-1987)
Research Associate (1987-1995), Associate Professor (1995), Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University
Professor, Hyogo College of Medicine (1996-1999)
Professor, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University (1999-present)
Center Director, Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (2007-present)
2000 Inoue Prize for Science (Inoue Foundation of Science)
^Yoneyama M, Kikuchi M, Natsukawa T, et al. (July 2004). "The RNA helicase RIG-I has an essential function in double-stranded RNA-induced innate antiviral responses". Nature Immunology. 5 (7): 730-7. doi:10.1038/ni1087. PMID15208624.
^Lee MS, Kim YJ (February 2007). "Pattern-recognition receptor signaling initiated from extracellular, membrane, and cytoplasmic space". Molecules and Cells. 23 (1): 1-10. PMID17464205.