Erkki Ruoslahti, MD, PhD, cofounder and chairman of the scientific advisory board at The Nanotech Company LLC, a San Diego small-tech consulting firm, and a professor at The Burnham Institute, was named one of three laureates for the 2005 (21st) Japan Prize, the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan announced yesterday. His award, in the cell biology category, recognizes his role in "elucidating the molecular mechanism of cell-to-extracellular matrix adhesion." Other recipients are Japanese scientists Masatoshi Takeichi (cell biology category), director of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology, and Makoto Nagao, for his work in natural language processing and intelligent image processing. Takeichi and Ruoslahti pinpointed the essential core processes in the complex phenomena of cell adhesion; their accomplishments are expected to fundamentally contribute to working out the etiology and developing therapy for diseases such as malignant tumors. The three scientists will receive certificates of merit and commemorative medals and cash awards of 50 million yen for each prize category at a presentation ceremony April 20 at the National Theatre in Tokyo.
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