The Kimura Motoo Foundation for the Promotion of Evolutionary Biology
About the Foundation
The Kimura Motoo Foundation for the Promotion of Evolutionary Biology confers an award annually on a scientist who has made significant contributions to the advancement of evolutionary biology in Japan in cooperation with the Japanese Society of Evolutionary Studies. It also makes financial support for the workshops and conferences in this field in Japan.
The Statements of the Founder on its Purpose and History
Dr. Motoo Kimura was born on November 13, 1924 in Okazaki, Aichi, Japan. Dr. Kimura, who began to show interest in botany in his early childhood, had turned his interest and attention toward genetics and mathematics. After finishing his graduate school in Kyoto University, Dr. Kimura joined the National Institute of Genetics at Mishima in Japan in 1949. There, Dr. Kimura had been immensely attracted by population genetics by use of the very advanced mathematics.
Coming back to Japan from the abroad study in the United States, he proposed the neutral theory of molecular evolution, the idea that a substantial majority of nucleotide substitutions are selectively neutral. His theory has suggested that random genetic draft dominates over natural selection at the molecular level, implying that neutral mutation is a primary factor in molecular evolution.
Saluting Dr. Kimura’s great achievements in evolutionary biology, this foundation was established with the major goals of supporting and promoting research and education in not only the evolutionary biology but also its related research fields of life science.
Dr. Kimura received the Culture Medal of Japan from the Japanese Government, which is the highest honor to scientists in Japan. He was also awarded the International Prize for biology that was established for commemorating the sixty-years of the Showa Emperor’s time and his longtime devotion to biological research. He received many of other valuable prizes during his life time.
I hope that this Foundation makes contributions to Japan’s life science.
September 24, 2004
CEO of Suzuki Motors Corporation
Founder of the Kimura Motoo Foundation for the Promotion Evolutionary Biology