Dr. Yoshiki Sasai will deliver the sixth Sayer Vision Research Lecture on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in the Natcher Conference Center, Building 45 on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD. His talk is titled “Self-Organization of Neural Structures in Three-Dimensional Stem Cell Cultures.”
Yoshiki Sasai was born in Hyogo, Japan. He received his medical degree from Kyoto University School of Medicine in 1986. After an internship in internal medicine, Dr. Sasai studied molecular neurobiology in Dr. Shigetada Nakanishi’s laboratory, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1993. His work focused on the identification of the mammalian hairy and enhancer of split (HES) gene family. Dr. Sasai next joined Eddy De Robertis’ laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles where he isolated the neural inducer Chordin in Xenopus. He became an associate professor at Kyoto University in 1996, and a full professor in 1998.
Dr. Sasai moved to the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in 2003 as director of the organogenesis and neurogenesis group. His current research focuses on early neural patterning of vertebrate embryos and in vitro recapitulation of neural and retinal development using three-dimensional embryonic stem cell cultures. Dr. Sasai was the recipient of the 2010 Osaka Science Prize for his work on Mechanistic Study and in vitro Recapitulation of Brain Development. He is also the laureate of the 2012 Inoue Prize for Science.