Dr. Takasuka won the Young Scientist Prize at the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Dr. Takasuka, a JSPS Research Fellowship (JSPS RPD), belonging to our institute won the Young Scientist Prize at the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technologyin 2019.
*See the press released by MEXT here.
The awarding ceremony was held at MEXT on 17 April.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognizes those who have achieved outstanding results in science and technology research and development as well as increased understanding as the "The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology".Among them, the Young Scientist Prize is for young researchers under the age of 40 who have made remarkable research achievements that show advanced research and development capabilities, such as research that is emerging and from an original perspective.
This is the second time that a researcher at our institute has received this award since 2013.
Dr. Takasuka was awarded for a research entitled "Ethology of highly-adapted oviposition behaviour and host web manipulation by ichneumonid spider-ectoparasitoids". This study has shown unique and highly-adapted characters of spider-ectoparasitoids specifically utilizing predetory spiders as hosts (finally kill the spider before pupation), by means of experimental ethology. The best example is "host web manipulation" where the parasitoid wasp larvae in the penultimate stage manipulate web-building behaviour of their host spider to alter the original web into a unique shaped web adequate for sustaining wasps' cocoon. Dr. Takasuka and his colleagues' study clarifying the origin and adaptive significance of this phenomenon was widely covered as "Zombie spider" by bunch of media all over the world.
<Comments from Dr.Takasuka>
"I'm greatly honored that the spider-ectoparasitoids, which are very minor organisms among the human society have been publicly recognized" Dr. Takasuka says, adding that also honored basic macroscopic biology like my study in contrast to microbiology which become of increasing importance was awarded. He also said that "I moved into Tsuruoka city with my wife and son in 2017 and now I'm engaged in cutting-edge microscopic biology including omics analyses in IAB to unravel the molecular mechanism of the host web manipulation, that is, how the Zombie spider is generated. I want to make an impact over the world again by elucidating the mechanism of the high-profile macroscopic phenomenon by means of microscopic biology."