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Professor Shin-Ichiro Imai (Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri), School of Medicine, Department of Developmental Biology/ Department of Medicine (joint)) has been awarded the 2020 International Okamoto Award.

The International Okamoto Award was originally launched in 1985 by the Japan Vascular Disease Research Foundation (from 2018: Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Aging Medicine) in recognition of the achievements of the late Professor Kozo Okamoto (1). This award recognizes internationally acclaimed researchers with outstanding achievements in basic research that contribute to the knowledge about the mechanisms of the changes associated with healthy aging (from fetal period, to growth, maturation, and aging), as well as the prevention, prediction, pathology, etc. of the related cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic diseases.
Past winners (2) include world authorities on vascular research, hypertension, metabolic disease research, among others.

Professor Shin-Ichiro Imai has been conducting research aiming at elucidating the mechanisms of aging and longevity in mammals for over 30 years, clarifying the importance of sirtuins and the NAD synthesis system, and proposing the concept of “NAD World.”
He is a leading figure in this field, and he has also demonstrated the efficacy of the anti-aging candidate NMN, which we were the first to commercialize at a global scale in the form of the popular NMN PURE series.
Professor Imai is the first awardee since this institution changed its name to Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Aging Medicine in 2018.

1908-1993. Pathologist.
Born November 10, 1891. Professor at Hyogo Prefectural Kobe Medical University and Tohoku University. He became Professor at Kyoto University in 1956, and Dean of the School of Medicine in 1968. Retired in 1972, became a professor at Kinki University School of Medicine, and later became the Dean of School of Medicine. Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University, Professor Emeritus at Kinki University. Developed and raised model rats with hypertension and cerebral hemorrhage (SHR: spontaneously hypertensive rats). Also known for his basic research on diabetes. Received the Japan Medical Association Medical Award for “Experimental Pathology of Diabetes” in 1972. Received the Japan Academy Award in 1972 and the 19th Fujiwara Award in 1978 for “Generation of model animals for hypertension and cerebral hemorrhage and its applied research”. Received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1980. Received the CIBA Award, and the 8th Kyoto Prefectural Cultural Award Special Achievement Award in 1990.

1985 Dr. Bjorn Folkow Sweden. Gothenburg University
Study on the cause of hypertension
1987 Dr. Michael J. Brody US. University of Iowa
Study on the cause of hypertension
1989 Dr. Walter Lovenberg US. Merrell-Dow International Research Institute
Research on the etiology, prevention and treatment of hypertension
1989 Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima WHO Executive Secretary
Prevention of cardiovascular disease and promotion of its basic research
1990 Dr. Jean Sassard France. University of Lyon
Research on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of hereditary hypertension
1991 Dr. Detlev Ganten Germany. Heidelberg University
Research on genetic molecular biology on the cause of hypertension
1992 Dr. Yukio Yamori Japan. Shimane University, School of Medicine
Fundamental research on etiology and prevention of hypertensive cardiovascular disease
1993 Dr. Edward D. Frohlich US. Alton Ochsner Institute
Research on etiology, pathophysiology and treatment of hypertension
1994 Dr. Yoshiaki Masuyama Japan. Wakayama Medical University
Study on neurological and vascular factors in the cause of hypertension
1995 Dr. Tadashi Inakami US. Vanderbild University
Development of biochemical, biomolecular, and research on renin-angiotensin systems
1996 Dr. Hisayuki Matsuo Japan. National Cerebral Cardiovascular Center
Study on the discovery and significance of natriuretic hormone related to circulatory regulation
1997 Dr. Tomoo Masaki Japan. National Cerebral Cardiovascular Center
Discovery of endothelin, vasoconstrictor factor, elucidation of its function, and establishment of various muscle proteins
1998 Dr. Russel Ross US. University of Washington
Response to Injury Hypothesis of Atherosclerosis
1999 Dr. Kikuo Arakawa Japan. Fukuoka University
Research on human angiotensin and outstanding research achievements on adult vascular diseases including exercise therapy for hypertension
2000 Dr. Oliver Smithies US. University of North Carolina
Achievements in developing molecular genetic research on adult vascular disease
2001 Dr. Kazuo Murakami Japan. University of Tsukuba
Elucidation of the molecular basis of the renin-angiotensin system using genetic engineering and developmental engineering methods
2002 Dr. Kenji Samukawa Japan. National Cardiovascular Center
Discovery of various physiologically active peptides by uniquely devised method and pioneering new fields of research on circulatory regulation system
2003 Dr. Marc A. Pfeffer US. Harvard University
Proposal of the concept of “ventricular remodeling” as abnormal adaptation process in myocardial injury and research on its prevention by ACE inhibitors
2004 Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, Jr US. Cornell University
Extensive research on lipoproteins and arteriosclerosis, focusing on the analysis of the structure, metabolism, and function of lipoproteins
2005 Dr. Kazuwa Nakao Japan. Kyoto University
Extensive research on natriuretic peptides, from basic research to clinical development
2006 Dr. Michael A. Gimbrone, Jr. US. Harvard University
Development of research methods for vascular biological and pathophysiological functions and contribution to molecular genetic studies
2007 Dr. Toshio Ogihara, Professor Emeritus Japan. Kyoto University
Molecular Genetic Studies on the Pathogenesis of Hypertension
2008 Dr. Pavel Hamet Canada. University of Montreal
Molecular pathophysiological and genetic studies on the mechanism of hypertension in humans and hereditary hypertension models
2009 Dr. Yoichi Nabeshima Japan. Kyoto University
Studies on genetic and molecular mechanisms of health maintenance and disease development using model animals
2010 Dr. Peter Libby US. Harvard University
Role of inflammation and immunity in vascular diseases
2010 Dr. Theodore W. Kurtz US. California University
Special Award. Molecular genetics of spontaneously hypertensive rats
2011 Dr. Narumiya Shu Kyoto University
Identification and function elucidation of various prostaglandin receptors
2012 Dr. Nilesh Jayantilal Samani UK. Leicester University
Genetics of cardiovascular disease
2013 Dr. Toshiro Fujita Japan. Tokyo University. Advanced Science and Technology Research Center
Origin of salt-sensitive hypertension
2014 Dr. Eric N. Olson US. University of Texas. Southwestern Medical Center
Discovery and mechanism of regulatory genes that control the regulation development, disease and repair of the cardiovascular system
2015 Dr. Ryozo Nagai Jichi Medical University
Molecular and cellular biology on functional linkage of cardiovascular and metabolic organs
2016 Dr. Rory Collins UK. Oxford University
Design, conduct and analysis of large-scale clinical trials that have transformed knowledge of epidemiology and treatment of cardiovascular disease
2018 Dr. Nagahiro Minato Kyoto University
Elucidation of mechanisms of immune aging and cancer immunity

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