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SPRUC 2014 Young Scientist Award

Atsushi Takahara
Chair, SPring-8 Users Community (SPRUC)
Jun'ichiro Mizuki
Chair, SPRUC 2014 Young Scientist Award Review Committee

In this fiscal year 2014, "SPRUC 2014 Young Scientist Award" which was being invited had twelve candidates by the closing date.
@SPRUC 2014 Young Scientist Award Review Committee had rigorous process for selecting two winners.

The SPRUC 2014 Young Science Award (YSA) is given to a young scientist who is recognized as having established a notable achievement in the development of a new experimental technique or a new method for data analysis, or having achieved remarkable results in the studied field by making use of the characteristic features of SPring-8.

Award winner Dr. Ryuichi Nomura / Tokyo Institute of Technology
Research subject High-Pressure Earth Science Explored by X-ray Laminography
Citation for the award By using several state-of-the-art facilities of SPring-8, he has succeeded in clarifying various new properties of the Earthfs deep materials under very high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. Among them are the application of tomography to the tiny sample recovered from high P - T experiments and succeeded in determining the melting temperature of multi-component system, and spin state observation to clarify the concentration mechanism of iron to the melt. These results were published in highly rated international journals as a first author, which indicates that he is a promising young scientist in the field of high-pressure Earth science.
Award winner Dr. Hiroshi Nishimasu / University of Tokyo
Research subject Crystal Structures of CRISPR-Cas Nucleases
Citation for the award Dr. Nishimasu solved the atomic structures of two biologically important proteins, CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9 and Zucchini endoribonuclease. These proteins are related to the RNA silencing mechanism which has been recently attracting much attention in cell and molecular biology. He accomplished these works in only two years and published remarkable papers in the top journals, Cell and Nature, as the first author. Among the severe competition in this field, he succeeded in solving these structures in a short period of time by making best use of high brilliance X-ray beam of SPring-8 together with his outstanding effort and skill of sample preparation and crystallization. These achievements demonstrate his talent and ability as an excellent young scientist.