13 March 2006

The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) will mark International Brain Awareness Week by holding a memorial lecture for a celebrated neurobiologist on Wednesday, March 15.

Professor Masatoshi Takeichi, Director of the Centre for Developmental Biology, Riken Institute, Japan, will present the 2006 Toshiya Yamada Memorial Lecture at the Queensland Bioscience Precinct at 2pm.

The lecture, titled “Cells into organs: how multicellular systems form”, will examine how cancer spreads through the body and how cells organise themselves into complex tissues.

Professor Takeichi studies the mechanisms by which animal cells recognise one another and form selective bonds with appropriate cells. He has had a long and distinguished career, including being awarded one of only three 2005 Japan Prizes, often called Japan's Nobels.

The lecture was named in memory of the late Dr Toshiya Yamada, who passed away in 2001. Dr Yamada was an IMB researcher whose discoveries formed much of the basis of modern neurobiology.

Dr Yamada discovered the molecules that are essential for regulating the correct wiring of the spinal cord and parts of the brain, and was instrumental in the resurgence of Australia as a leader in the field of developmental neurobiology.

He joined the UQ Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology (now the IMB) in 1994, following a successful postdoctoral research position at Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University in New York.

Dr Yamada was born in Japan and studied for his undergraduate, Masters, and PhD degrees at the University of Tsukuba.

The Toshiya Yamada Memorial Lecture is a joint initiative of the IMB and the QBI to highlight the work of leading neuroscience researchers, and is a free public event.

Those wishing to attend should contact Shani Doig on (07) 3346 9980 or s.doig@uq.edu.au.


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