Hauptman-Woodward Institute Announces Death of Yoshio Osawa, PhD

September 27, 2013 Updated Dec 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Hauptman-Woodward Institute Announces Death of Yoshio Osawa, PhD

September 27, 2013 Updated Dec 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Hauptman Woodward Institute on Monday announced the death of Yoshio Osawa, PhD. He was 81.

Osawa, an honored scientist and former Principal Research Scientist Emeritus of Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (1953). He then went on to earn a master’s degree (1955) and a PhD (1959) from the University of Tokyo, both in Organic Chemistry.

Osawa completed his Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Steroid Biochemistry at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo.

Following his work at Roswell, Osawa carried his research and professional experience to the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute where held the position of Associate Research Scientist. He continued to grow and develop at the Institute, eventually becoming Head of the Endocrine Biochemistry Department and Principle Research Scientist in 1970.

Osawa was a consultant for the breast cancer research unit at Roswell Park Cancer Institute from 1975-1980 and was a part of the clinical staff up until 1998. As a member of the US Army Breast Cancer Research Program Review Committee, Osawa was on the Endocrinology Review Panel in 1995 and 1996. His work in breast cancer research helped aid other scientists in their developments and findings.

The aromatase and sulfatase projects initiated at HWI by Osawa helped pave the way for HWI Scientist Dr. Debashis Ghosh to become the first in the world to unravel the molecular structure of the key breast cancer target enzyme that makes all estrogens. Osawa and Ghosh started their collaboration in 1995 and Osawa’s preliminary work provided the framework which led to the eventual solution of the structure of estrone sulfatase. The project was taken over by Ghosh in 1998 when Osawa retired. The research they conducted together and the revolutionary method of purifying and crystallizing these enzymes which Ghosh developed were ground breaking for breast cancer research.

With nearly 200 publications throughout his career, Osawa was frequently invited as a guest speaker for symposium lectures and conferences. He was given the “American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award”, the “NIH MERIT Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development”, and was nominated for the “Niagara Frontier Inventor of the Year” (1989).