Masaru Taniguchi

Senior Advisor and Group Director, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Masaru TANIGUCHI received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Chiba University School of Medicine (1974). He was appointed a Professor of Immunology at Chiba University School of Medicine (1980-2004), served as the Dean there (1996-2000) and President of the Japanese Society for Immunology (1997-1998). He was then appointed the founding Director of the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (2001-2013) and the Senior Advisor at RIKEN Integrative Medical Sciences in 2013.

He discovered an NKT cell with its unique invariant antigen receptor expression in 1986-1990, which was selected as the “Pillars of Immunology” for being pivotal to the advance of the immunology field by the American Association of Immunologists, and also discovered an NKT cell ligand, a-galactosylceramide in 1997 and developed NKT cell-deficient mice in 1997.

He gave a Special Lecture for the Emperor on Allergy and Immunology (2000). He was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004 and the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 2016 by the Emperor of Japan.