We’ve all heard that eating right, exercising and staying mentally active are habits we should embrace if we want to live longer. So we asked one of Hawaii’s legendary kupuna, 90-year-old Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, to share his secrets.
Affectionately called “Dr. Yana” by his colleagues, Yana is known around the world for his groundbreaking work in fertility research. “I inject the sperm directly into the egg to see what will happen and no one had done that before,” Yana said. “Many doctors find that this can be used for a cure (to) some types of infertility.”
Yana developed in vitro fertilization (IVF) and direct sperm injection into an egg (known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI). His pioneering research with animals led to advancements in IVF and other fertility treatments responsible for more than 8 million babies born since the world’s first test tube baby in 1978.
On August 29th, the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) celebrated Yana’s 90th birthday with the inaugural Yanagimachi Symposium at the Sullivan Conference Center on the University of HawaiʻI (UH) Kakaʻako campus.
About Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, PhD
In 1998, as a scientist and professor at the University of Hawaii, Yana’s development of the “Honolulu Technique” to create Cumulina, the world’s first cloned mouse, brought international acclaim to UH Mānoa. This discovery triggered active research of cell conversion from one type to another for therapeutic purposes.
Yana’s team made worldwide headlines once again in 1999 with “glowing green” transgenic mice in which the green fluorescent protein gene in a “glowing green” mouse produced pups that also carried the “green fluorescent gene.”
In 2000, Dr. Yanagimachi founded the UH Mānoa Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR), part of JABSOM. Though he formally retired in 2005, he remains full of wonder about nature. As he turns 90, Yana continues his research at the IBR.