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Landmark HTLV-1 Research Honored

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Professor Masao Matsuoka, from the Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Japan has been announced as the recipient of the 2011 M Jeang Retrovirology Prize.

The annual prize, partly sponsored by the Ming K. Jeang Foundation, celebrates research from retrovirologists aged between 45 and 60.

2011 winner Professor Matsuoka graduated from Kumamoto University Medical School in 1982 before returning to study at the Graduate School there in 1984.

He moved to UC Berkeley to work as a post-doctoral researcher before returning to the Kumamoto University and then finally to Kyoto University where he is currently the Director of the Institute for Virus Research.

Professor Matsuoka research interests are primarily focused on examining how HTLV-1 (Human T cell Leukemia virus) induces diseases and he and his team are looking into treatment for those infected with the virus.

The award recognizes the exceptional work he has conducted which clearly demonstrated the significance of HBZ genes in the pathogenesis of HTLV-1 associated diseases and showed that HBZ promoted proliferation of T cells and induced both T-cell lymphomas and inflammations.

Receiving the prize, Professor Matsuoka said “It is a great honor and pleasure for me to receive this treasurable prize for retrovirology. This prize encourages me to further study mechanisms show HTLV-1 induces diseases and how we can prevent and treat these diseases.”

To mark the award, an editorial has been published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Retrovirology.

The Retrovirology Prize recipient is selected by Retrovirology’s Editors based on nominations submitted by the journal’s Editorial Board. The prize consists of a $3,000 check and a crystal trophy.

Last year’s winner was Professor Michael H. Malim, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at King’s College London.