Former OIST Promotion Corporation President Dr. Sydney Brenner to Receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun

The Japanese Government announced that former OIST Promotion Corporation President Dr. Sydney Brenner will receive the honorific award for his achievements.

Sydney Brenner

Dr. Sydney Brenner, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation (OIST PC) President from 2005 to 2011 and 2002 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology and Medicine, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan.

Dr. Sydney Brenner was instrumental in establishing the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University as the internationally reputed research facility it is today. He mentioned that the infancy of OIST was hard work, but now it is well on the way to become an “International Centre for Graduate Research and Education in the Sciences”.

The Japanese Government recognized his contribution, citing: “As President of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation, he devoted himself to the promotion and installation concept of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University which offers world leading education and research.“

Dr. Brenner joins two of our members in the Board of Governors in receiving the prestigious title, following Dr. Jerome Friedman in 2016 and Dr. Torsten Wiesel in 2010.

“Sydney is unique in his ability to describe a dream and then make it come true by convincing others of its reality,“ commented Dr. Robert Baughman, OIST Executive Vice President for Technology Development and Innovation. “He did this this time after time at the start of OIST when there was nothing here but a beautiful hillside. Without his remarkable talent to create the real from the imagined, there would be no OIST.”

“It was Sydney’s strong desire to purchase the next generation sequencing machines, foreseeing it would be a major development in the field of biology along with neuroscience,” remembers Prof. Noriyuki Satoh, head of the OIST Marine Genomics Unit. “The great success of the OIST DNA Sequencing Section [editor’s note: contributing to many high-impact scientific publications] is all due to Sydney’s insight and vision for the future.”

Asked to give a message to younger generation, he said “new knowledge is best discovered by young people. My message to those young people who want to discover and advance new science is that while it is a long and difficult road to travel, stay with your dreams and work hard to make them come true. There is nothing better than that in life.”

Dr. Sydney Brenner’s Bio:

Born in South Africa in 1927, Dr. Brenner completed an Honors degree and a MSc in Anatomy and Physiology from the University of Witwatersrand before undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) at Oxford University. Afterwards he joined the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, where he became the director of the Medical Research Council in 1979. Prof. Brenner founded the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley in 1996, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for his seminal work in cytogenetics. He took on the mantle of OIST P.C. president in 2005, leading the development of the organization towards its establishment as the Graduate University until October 2011.

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