The Winding Road to Discovering iPS Cells

The Winding Road to Discovering iPS Cells

The Life of Yamanaka Shinya

Yamanaka Shinya, Interviewer Midori Shinya
Translated by Tony Atkinson

Japan Library series
Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture


¥2,300 + tax

ISBN 9784866581774
210 mm x 148 mm / 156 pp. / March 2021

The revolutionary discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, completely changed the world, particularly in the field of medical science. This groundbreaking achievement was made by Dr. Yamanaka Shinya of Kyoto University and won him the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012.

The road that led him to this accomplishment, however, was not an easy one; during his early days as a training orthopedic surgeon, Yamanaka was not skilled and was called even “a hindrance” by his supervisor. He eventually changed course to become a researcher in the field of medical science and undertook postdoctoral studies in the United States, but he experienced a mild case of depression upon returning to Japan. Even when Yamanaka presented the results of his discovery of iPS cells, he could not immediately bask in the glory of his success, since many of his peers simply could not believe his achievement.

In this volume, the Nobel Prize laureate talks openly about his life from his childhood days to his current daily life and discusses his views on the future of regenerative medicine. How were iPS cells developed and what can they do? Translated from a runaway bestseller in Japan and replete with a new preface for the English edition, this biography shows what science can do for humankind, and the possibilities that life holds.

Dr. Yamanaka Shinya is the director emeritus of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University. In 2006 his team succeeded in generating iPS cells from mouse skin cells. The following year his team developed human iPS cells from human skin cells. For this achievement, he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Midori Shinya is a science journalist. His works include Kieta densetsu no saru Benz [Benz, a Missing Legendary Monkey, 2015] (Tokyo: Poplar, 2015) and Uirusu daikansen jidai [The Age of Widely Infectious Diseases], co-authored with NHK Special reporting team,(Tokyo:Kadokawa,2017).

*information as of time of publication

Japan Library series

Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture

¥2,300 + tax
ISBN 9784866581774
210 mm x 148 mm / 156 pp. / March 2021

ISBN 9784866581897 (ePub)
ISBN 9784866582009 (PDF)

Preface to the English Edition by Yamanaka Shinya / Preface to the English Edition by Midori Shinya / Introduction // Part I: iPS Cells: The Path to Their Creation and Their Possibilities // Part II: Interview // Afterword: The Future of iPS Cells / References / Index / About the Author and Interviewer



緑 慎也
1976年大阪市生まれ。出版社勤務、月刊誌記者を経てフリーに。科学技術を中心に取材・執筆活動を続けている。単行本構成に『戸塚教授の「科学入門」』(戸塚洋二・講談社)、『がん 生と死の謎に挑む』(立花隆、NHKスペシャル取材班・文藝春秋)。聞き書きに『のたうつ者』(挾土秀平・毎日新聞社)など。


Original Japanese Edition

ふりがな付 山中伸弥先生に、人生とiPS細胞について聞いてみた

山中伸弥 著

講談社 刊