The Provost Lecture Series 1


Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 16:00 to 17:45


Sydney Brenner Lecture Theater B250


Title: My (perhaps too) challenging life in science and technology

Speaker: Professor Ichiro Maruyama, Information Processing Biology Unit

Chair: Professor Ulf Skoglund, Structural Cellular Biology Unit


In this inaugural lecture of Provost Lecture Series initiated by Amy Shen, I will look back my life in science and technology, which I hope to give some (good and bad) hints for young people on how to spend their lives in science and technology.

As a founding member in four places in four different countries including in OIST, I have continued to challenge scientific dogmas with a number of brave colleagues.

In 1983, I started my career as a postdoc in MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, where we discovered gene amplification in germline cells of multicellular organisms, which is still a rare example in the field.

When Sydney Brenner, a founding president of OIST, initiated MRC Molecular Genetics Unit in Cambridge, UK in 1986, I started to buy everything including benches, shelves and machines as one of two members including Sydney. There we developed a surface display vector based on bacteriophage lambda for the expression of foreign proteins. Using the vector, we observed single molecules for the first time in history according to US biophysical society.

Then I made a trans-Atlantic journey from Cambridge, UK to La Jolla in Southern California, where then The Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation changed its name to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) by founding Department of Cell Biology. I was a founding member of the Department, and started a major challenge to a dogmatic model for mechanisms underlying activation of transmembrane cell-surface receptors.

I also made a trans-Pacific journey to Okinawa from California after spending three years at Biopolis in Singapore as a founding member of Genome Institute of Singapore.

This lecture will be followed by a farewell party in the patio nearby.


16:00- 17:15: Introduction, Lecture and Q&A

17:15-17:45 Teatime


Seminar video link


The Provost Lecture Series will provide an opportunity to celebrate milestones in the careers of OIST faculty members. It will recognize newly promoted professors and those who have received prestigious awards. It will highlight faculty achievements and create a space for retiring professors to talk about their research accomplishments and lessons learned over the course of their career. It is a way to celebrate OIST faculty, introduce them to the broader OIST community, acknowledge their research successes, share about their teaching and mentorship of students, and honor their service to the university.


Contact: Office of the Provost Email:



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