On Monday, August 21, Dr. Sydney Brenner was honored with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan. The award was given to Dr. Brenner by the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore, Mr. Kenji Shinoda.
Dr. Sydney Brenner was instrumental in establishing the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) as the internationally reputed research facility it is today. From 2005 to 2011, he was President of the OIST Promotion Corporation, and he was the 2002 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology and Medicine.
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.
Dr. Brenner was asked to give a message to the younger generation, and 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 and Mr. Kenji Shinoda, Japanese Ambassador to Singapore
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.
(Header photo credit: Website of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan)