Biohistory Jyournal, Winter, 2002
Scientist Library: Index > The mechanism of immunity and allergy
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The mechanism of immunity and allergy
Kimishige Ishizaka,
President Emeritus, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
photograph by Naruaki Onishi
    Dr. Ishizaka’s research objective throughout his life has been to identify the mechanism of allergies. In the course of his research he discovered Immunoglobulin E (IgE), the cause of allergies. From this, he discovered that the elaborate and complex immune reaction, focused on the antigen-antibody reaction that protects the self from the external world and distinguishes between self and other, was also the cause of the vexing allergy symptoms. The discovery of IgE was a major impetus for the research that lies at the heart of modern biology, including immunology and cell biology.
    Ishizaka’s research methods did not overlook phenomena that did not conform to conventional wisdom, and identified the reasons for that lack of conformity. These were factors leading to this extremely interesting discovery. His methods are characterized by rational thought, solution, and execution, regardless of any obstacles.
    Dr. Ishizaka spent many years conducting research in the U.S. Later, he lived at Zao with his wife, his partner in research, and during her illness, he was always at her bedside. The strength of his constant positive attitude made these years something completely natural.

Hidesaburo Hanafusa
1925: Born in Tokyo
1948: Graduated from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine
1953-1962: Chief, Department of Serology, Division of Immunoserology, National Institute of Health, Japan
1957-1959: Research Fellow, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
1963-1970: Chief, Department of Immunology, Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital, Denver, Colorado
1970-1980: Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1974-1980: Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University
1981-1989: Director, Subdepartment of Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1985: Chairman, American Association of Immunologists
1989-1996: Scientific Director, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
1997: Member, The Japan Academy
1972:Passano Foundation Award, United States (jointly with wife Teruko)
1974:Received the Japan Academy Award and the Order of Cultural Merit
1999:Received the First Order of Merit, The Order of the Sacred Treasure
2000:Received the Japan Prize
1953: At the Institute of Infectious Diseases
1970: At the World Allergy Organization (Florence, Italy)
1959: At the American Association of Immunologists
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