RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB)
2-2-3 Minatojima minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan

CDB scientist wins MEXT Young Investigator Prize
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May 10, 2006Hiroki R. Ueda, Team Leader of the Laboratory for Systems Biology, was awarded a Minister of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT) Prize for Young Investigators at a ceremony held on April 18. This prestigious prize is awarded annually to young scientists in recognition of creative research and outstanding ability achievement in science. Ueda’s prize was given for “his study of the system-level underlying biological clocks,” research that has focused on the identification and characterization of a regulatory network comprising 16 genes that controls mammalian circadian genetic activity.

Ours has been called the post-genomic age, and the development of theory capable of applying genome-era research infrastructure to the analysis of complex, dynamic phenomena has emerged as a new priority. Ueda’s team employs microarray and other advanced technology to conduct global and systematic analyses of gene expression as an avenue to an improved understanding of biological mechanisms. The lab has also developed a system enabling the identification of DNA sequences driving gene expression in a time-dependent manner, by facilitating the study of expression rhythm at the cellular level. “It was wonderful to hear that our approach to these questions met with such a positive reception,” says Ueda on winning the MEXT prize. “We’re now planning to begin including spatial information in our analyses as well, which will allow us to study even more complex developmental processes.”

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