Plenary 1– Global Trends in Biotech Industry (A)
Date: 22 July (Wednesday) 09:00 – 10:30 (GMT+8)
Venue: 701EF, 7F, TaiNEX2 / Online event platform
The Nobel Laureate
Dr. Honjo is a distinguished professor and deputy director-general at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study. He is well known for his discovery of AID that is essential for class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation. He has established the basic conceptual framework of class switch recombination. In addition, he discovered PD-1, a negative coreceptor at the effector phase of immune response and showed that PD-1 modulation contributes to treatments of tumor, viral infection and autoimmunity. For these contributions, Dr. Honjo has received many awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, JMA supreme award of merit, Imperial Prize, Japan Academy Prize, Robert Koch Prize, Order of Culture, the Tang Prize, the Kyoto Prize. Elected as a foreign associate of National Academy of Sciences, USA, as a member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists, and also as a member of Japan Academy.
Speech title & Synopsis
Acquired immunity emerged sometime at the beginning of vertebrate evolution as defense mechanism against the infectious diseases caused by pathogens. During this evolution the amazing mechanism including reassembly of genetic segments was acquired probably by fortuitous events. We encountered PD-1 in 1992 and found PD-1 is the major braking system in acquired immunity. In 2002, we discovered PD-1 blockade can cure tumors in mouse models by reactivating the acquired immunity. In 2014, 22 years after PD-1 discovery, the treatment of cancer by PD-1 blockade is approved by PMDA and FDA, and considered to be revolutionary cancer treatment which is often compared to the penicillin discovery for the treatment of infectious diseases. The success of cancer treatment by PD-1 blockade owes to acquired immunity. During the long history of fight against diseases, we almost succeeded to conquer infectious diseases in the last century. Fortunately, we may be able to overcome cancer the last major life threatening disease, by the same mechanism applied to infectious diseases.