From left Dr. Yanagisawa, Dr. Mignot, Dr. Kimura (Chairperson, Administrative director of IIIS)


The Breakthrough Prize commemoration lecture held in Yokohama

 Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa, Director of the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS), the University of Tsukuba, gave a commemorative lecture in Yokohama on September 16th together with Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, professor of the Stanford University, who jointly received the 2023 Breakthrough Prize.
 This is the first time they have appeared on stage together since the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was awarded in September 2022, as a part of special program of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Sleep Research (JSSR), of which Dr. Yanagisawa serves as president of it.
 In the lecture, Drs. Yanagisawa and Mignot, have been running separate labs and pursuing different research programs, described how they converged on the new understanding and treatment options of neurodegenerative disease, Narcolepsy, which led to them receiving the Breakthrough Prize.
 Dr. Mignot found mutations in the hypocretin (orexin) receptor 2 cause canine narcolepsy and Dr. Yanagisawa revealed prepro-orexin KO mice display the phonotype of cataplexy, reaching separately mutual discovery describing the cause of narcolepsy. Later, they gained more discoveries to understand and treat such a rare disease, Narcolepsy, in humans.
 More than 500 participants, exceeding the capacity, listened to the lecture at venue.

2023 Breakthrough Prize