July 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem Cell Community Tribute to Yoshiki Sasai (笹井芳樹)

Yoshiki Sasai

This post is a tribute to the late Dr. Yoshiki Sasai (笹井芳樹). If you would like your name added to this tribute please let me know. You are also welcome to add your own tributes in the comments.

In an era when the emerging field of regenerative medicine is just beginning to take wing, we learn of a tragic loss of a friend and colleague Yoshiki Sasai. Dr. Sasai was widely esteemed by those who knew him as an outstanding developmental biologist. His death is therefore a great loss for both the stem cell and developmental biology fields.

Dr. Sasai was not a scientist who was satisfied with incremental advances; he was creative and visionary. He focused on development of the brain, using pluripotent stem cells to generate self-organizing neural tubes in vitro. This ability to replicate organogenesis in the lab could revolutionize stem cell medicine and he was an important pioneer in this advance. He was also helping to develop a stem cell therapy for macular degeneration.

In short, his pioneering work will inspire regenerative medicine research for decades to come. Future generations will remember Yoshiki Sasai as a scientist who was fascinated by the beauty of embryonic development and was dedicated to understanding how so much complexity could arise so perfectly from the simplicity of a single cell. With this collective statement we wish to pay tribute to him and his exceptional contributions to science. He will be greatly missed.

Paul Knoepfler

Mike West

Bob Lanza

Jeanne Loring

Doug Sipp

Janet Rossant

Bernie Siegel

Jun Seita

Alexey Bersenev

Roman Reed

Zorica Becker-Kojic

Roy W. Smolens Jr.

Harumi Sakaguchi

Cheng-Yoong Pang

M. Chandrashekhar

Kenneth Lee

Jeanne Adiwinata Pawitan

Yu Yamamoto

Rosario Isasi

Christopher Fasano

Peter Burrows

Don Paul Kovarcik

Jennifer Aparicio

Andras Dinnyes, Hungary

Mohamed Elgafi

Nalina Nagarajan

Mitradas Panicker

Florian T. Merkle

Robert H. Broyles

Don C. Reed

Denis Ivanov

Joel C. Glover

Bill Ritchie

Susan Lim

Tim Lee

Donald Newgreen

Joe Riggs

Jayakumar Rajadas

Krishna Pantakani

Asawari Bapat

Caroline Mathen

Luis Meseguer-Olmo

Jason Wen

Tiziano Barberi

Chris Mason

Luciano Conti

André Brändli

Y. Murat Elcin

Tran Doan Ngoc Tran

Magdalene Seiler, UC Irvine

Ahmed Mansouri

Kyle Cetrulo and Curtis L. Cetrulo, M.D.

Alan Fernandez

Carla Mellough

Prabhu Mishra

Ila

William W. Bauser

Nikolaos Mitrousis

Xiaodong Liu

Maria Longobardi

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