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Riko NISHIMURA (Professor, Course for Oral Sciences, Graduate School of Dentistry)

Professor Riko NISHIMURA is a leading researcher in studies related to transcription factor controllers in areas of bone and cartilage metabolism. He is on the verge of being able to utilize the basic research he has cultivated in actual medical situations, mentioning that "a radical cure for osteoarthritis, which affects 10 million people nationwide, is now realizable. I want to build cells that can regenerate bones and cartilage."

But no matter what he gets into, Prof. Nishimura gives it his all. "I entered the School of Dentistry at Osaka University with the intent of developing a vocation. While playing jun-koshiki baseball (baseball played with a softer ball) as a student, I also got into skiing, so much so that I imagined starting a business at Hokkaido Niseko, a place which I had frequented."

A turning point in his life was when he met Professor YONEDA Toshiyuki, former Associate Professor of the Biochemistry Department and now Professor Emeritus at Osaka University, while performing medical training. "I did not hesitate in devoting myself to clinical medicine and research on head and neck tumors. I learned the importance of cultivating people through the passionate guidance of Professor Yoneda."

In order to incorporate genetic engineering methods, which were very new at the time, Prof. Nishimura traveled to the US to study under Prof. Joseph Schlessinger at New York University (Prof. Schlessinger is now a professor at Yale University). Under Prof. Schlessinger, Prof. Nishimura "learned the benevolence of science, becoming engrossed in the enjoyment of research." After his time at NYU, he studied under Prof. Gregory Mundy at the University of Texas, San Antonio for research and development using signal transduction. "I learned the harshness of research under his strict guidance," Prof. Nishimura told us. Following this, he took up the Biochemistry Department after Professor Yoneda.

Prof. Nishimura puts discussions with students and young professors as his top priority. Said from his own experience, "Blessed by my mentors, I realized that research is my calling in life. It is now my duty to cultivate the future. I teach with the intention that my students will carry the 22nd century. I want them to become 'human treasures' that will surpass me and fly out into the world, and I will spare no effort in seeing them do just that."


Professor Nishimura graduated from the School of Dentistry at Osaka University in 1985, and received his doctorate in dentistry from the Graduate School of Dentistry. He served as an instructor at the New York University School of Medicine, a Faculty Associate at the Department of Medicine of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and in 1997, he became an assistant at the School of Dentistry, Osaka University. He became a professor at the Graduate School of Dentistry in 2012, and Vice Dean of the Graduate School in 2015. His research includes intracellular signal transduction, bone and cartilage metabolism, and transcription factor controllers.

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