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Tasuku Honjo

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Tasuku Honjo
Tasuku Honjo in 2018
Born (1942-01-27) January 27, 1942 (age 79)
Kyoto, Japan
FieldsMolecular Immunology
InstitutionsKyoto University
Alma materKyoto University
Doctoral advisorYasutomi Nishizuka
Osamu Hayaishi
Known forClass switch recombination
IL-4, IL-5, AID
Cancer immunotherapy
Notable awardsImperial Prize (1996)
Koch Prize (2012)
Order of Culture (2013)
Tang Prize (2014)
Kyoto Prize (2016)
Alpert Prize (2017)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2018)
This person won a Nobel Prize
Tasuku Honjo (本庶 佑 Honjo Tasuku?, born January 27, 1942) is a Japanese immunologist. He is best known for his work of finding and naming the Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1).[1]

He is also known for his discovery of cytokines: IL-4 and IL-5,[2] as well as the discovery of Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID).[3]

He was elected as a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. He is a member of German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina (2003), and also as a member of the Japan Academy (2005).

In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with James P. Allison.[4]


  1. Ishida, Y.; Agata, Y.; Shibahara, K.; Honjo, T. (1992). "Induced expression of PD-1, a novel member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily, upon programmed cell death.". The EMBO Journal (Wiley) 11 (11): 3887–3895. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1992.tb05481.x . ISSN 0261-4189 . PMC 556898 . PMID 1396582 . 
  2. Kumanogoh, Atsushi; Ogata, Masato (2010-03-25). "The study of cytokines by Japanese researchers: a historical perspective". International Immunology 22 (5): 341–345. doi:10.1093/intimm/dxq022 . ISSN 0953-8178 . PMID 20338911 . Retrieved 2018-10-01. 
  3. Robert Koch Foundation confers award on Professors Honjo and Wimmer
  4. Hannah, Devlin. "James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo win Nobel prize for medicine". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2018.