Tomitake Tsukihara


Dr. Tomitake Tsukihara received his Bachelor of Pharmacy in 1967, Master of Science in 1969, and Ph.D in 1974 from Osaka University. He became a Research Associate in Faculty of Engineering, Tottori University in 1971 and stayed there until 1991, when he became a professor at the University of Tokushima. He took up a professor position at Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University in 1995. He was a research associate at the Department of Biological Science, Purdue University from 1978 to 1980.


Dr. Tsukihara has been working in the area of biological crystallography. He carried out his Ph.D. research on crystal structural studies of bonito heart cytochrome c. After he received Ph.D., he started collaboration with Dr. Shinya Yoshikawa for crystallographic studies of cytochrome c oxidase. But it was too early to obtain crystals of the membrane protein complex. Meanwhile he determined novel structures of ferredoxins, which are iron-sulfur proteins functioning as an electron carrier. He learned crystallography of biological macromolecular assemblies from Professor Michael G. Rossmann of Purdue University.


In 1995 Drs. Tsukihara and Yoshikawa succeeded in structural determination of bovine heart cytochrome c oxidase, which was the first mammalian membrane protein structure determined. They have been continuing crystallographic studies on cytochrome c oxidase to elucidate atomic mechanism of the enzyme function.


Dr. Tsukihara received The Prize of Crystallographic Society of Japan in 1987, and The Amgen Prize of Protein Society of U.S.A. in 1996.



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