ASTMH Newsletter: Volume 54 Number 2
For most malariologists, the word “ultrastructure” invokes the name “Aikawa.” Dr. Aikawa received his MD from Kyoto University in 1958 and took his residency training in pathology at Georgetown University Hospital. Subsequently, he worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) from 1964 to 1968.
It was during these years that Dr. Aikawa developed his reputation as an authority on the ultrastructure of malaria parasites, as well as his reputation for impeccable electron microscopy. In 1968, he joined the Institute of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Aikawa returned to Japan in 1998 as a professor at Tokai University. Since 1998, he was professor emeritus, CWRU. He joined Transcutaneous Technologies Inc. as a chairman in 2003. The company set up its incubator at the BioEnterprise Corp. in 2004. Dr. Aikawa's momentum remained strong until his death.
Through the years, the Aikawa laboratory had participated in many major discoveries regarding malaria parasite structure. He was involved in the initial description of the moving junction between merozoites and erythrocytes at the time of parasite entry into the erythrocyte (J. Cell Biol, 77:72082, 1978, Figure). Dr. Aikawa participated in the analysis of the first monoclonals against malaria parasites (Science, 207:71-73, 1980), and he made major contributions to the malaria vaccine development.
During a 40-year career, he authored and co-authored more than 340 articles and reviews with distinguished collaborators. He is survived by his spouse, Hiroko; daughter, Keiko; and son, Taro.
The Aikawa Memorial Symposium in memory of Masamichi Aikawa was held on March 25, 2005, at the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. More than 100 people attended the symposium.
At the symposium, many tributes were made to Dr. Aikawa's career; they were bound in a book that was presented to symposium participants and attendees by Hiroko Aikawa and her family. Some of the entries included:
It was with great sadness that I learned that Masamichi Aikawa, a dear friend, has passed away. He made many important contributions to our field and was a great supporter of scientists in the developing world. I will miss his good cheer and positive attitude in life. I wish that all scientists had these qualities. I will miss him most as a friend.
Louis H. Miller, MD
Ruth and I admired Masamichi's profound insights into malaria biology and pathology. We were lucky to have collaborated with him on several occasions and remember fondly his visits to New York to plan experiments. Masamichi was a very dear friend, a superb and dedicated scientist. We will miss him.
Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig
Department of Pathology
New York University School of Medicine
The team at BioEnterprise was saddened by the unexpected death of Dr. Masamichi Aikawa. In the period that we worked with Dr. Aikawa, we found him to be knowledgeable, collaborative and committed to rapidly advancing the Transcutaneous Technologies Inc. product candidates to commercialization. We look forward to working with the management and scientific teams at TTI to make Dr. Aikawa's vision a reality.
Senior Vice President
Unveiled at the symposium was a special portrait of Dr. Aikawa painted by Steven Seward, an artist who has painted portraits of many of Cleveland's prominent business leaders. Interim Chair of the CASE Department of Pathology George Perry, PhD, was responsible for commissioning Seward.
At the symposium, a number of speakers paid tribute to Masamichi Aikawa, scientist, colleague, mentor and friend.
Memorial Symposium Program—Friday, March 25, 2005
Special thanks go to Drs. James Kazura and Hisashi Fujioka for developing the symposium, and to Jeannie St. Marie, who made it all happen.
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