The 4th

Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award


Prof. Cyril Zipfel


Professor Cyril Zipfel selected as the winner of the Okazaki Award,

a Japanese Award in life sciences


Professor Cyril Zipfel (University of Zürich, Switzerland) has been selected to receive the 4th Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award on October 4, 2018 at Nagoya University in Japan. The Okazaki Award is an international award that is presented each year to a young leading scientist, who has made significant contributions in the field of life sciences by one’s unique approaches and techniques. Professor Zipfel receives the award in recognition of his contribution to the “understanding of the molecular basis of plant innate immunity”.


The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University organizes the Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award, which was established in memory of the great achievements of Nagoya University’s University/Honorary Professors, Dr. Tsuneko Okazaki and the late Dr. Reiji Okazaki. Drs. Tsuneko and Reiji Okazaki are known for their discovery of the Okazaki Fragment, which are short DNA fragments that are formed during DNA replication. Their research has contributed greatly to advancing the field of molecular biology and has inspired subsequent generations of researchers.


Previous winners of the award are: Professors Feng Zhang (2015), Yukiko Yamashita (2016), and Maria Barna (2017).


The Okazaki Award Committee is pleased to present the award to Professor Zipfel, and acknowledges his research on the elucidation of signaling events involved in the establishment of immunity and growth in plants. Professor Zipfel’s work contributes to the understanding of how plant receptors work at the molecular level, which can be applicable to engineer more resilient crops.


Professor Zipfel has been awarded competitive European Research Council Starting and Consolidator grants in 2012 and 2018, respectively, is a Highly Cited Researcher (2014-2017), and was awarded the prestigious Charles Albert Shull Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists in 2015. Professor Zipfel will start a new position in June 2018 as Chair of Molecular & Cellular Plant Physiology at the University of Zürich in Switzerland.


The award lecture and ceremony are scheduled to take place on October 4, 2018 at the Noyori Conference Hall in Nagoya University.


Okazaki Award Committee Members:

Kazuo Shinozaki (Chair), Gohta Goshima, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Michio Homma, Azusa Kamikouchi, Steve Kay, Toshinori Kinoshita, Ikue Mori, Keiko Torii, Takashi Yoshimura, Wolf Frommer