Nobel laureate Dr. Yamanaka and the new frontier: “Find what you love”

Nobel laureate Dr. Yamanaka and the new frontier: “Find what you love”

Shinya Yamanaka takes questions from students at the Ryukyu Shimpo Hall located in in Izumizaki, Naha City, on March 25.

March 26, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

Shinya Yamanaka, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and director of Kyoto University’s Center for IPS Cell Research and Application, gave a talk at the Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Naha city on March 25.

Yamanaka used simple words to speak about his journey in medical research—which opened up a new frontier in medicine, and shared latest developments in his field.

He said to the auditorium full of young people, “I was absorbed in my research,” and encouraged them to “find what you love.”

The lecture was hosted as part of “Science driven prefectural development: Spread your wings abroad! Future scientists and Nobel laureates from Okinawa,” a joint project between the Ryukyu Shimpo and OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University) to train the next generation of talents.

Yamanaka lost his father to a condition which was untreatable at the time.

His loss motivated him to pursue medical research in order to “cure patients with conditions are presently incurable.”

However, there are days this vision gets lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The Nobel laureate shared his former professor’s mantra with the audience: “Work hard toward your Vision,” or “VW” for short. He said, “when I think of those words, I often find the path I need to take.”

He spoke on the importance of maintaining a vision and said, “I’m reaffirming this mantra myself as I share it with you.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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