Martin Jonikas, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, is the recipient of the 7th Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award, for which he will be honored at the The 9th International Symposium on Transformative Bio-Molecules on December 13, 2023 at Nagoya University, Japan.
Jonikas has been awarded the prize for his work on the "structure, biogenesis, and engineering of the pyrenoid, the eukaryotic CO2-concentrating organelle."
In 1968, Professors Okazaki proposed a model of discontinuous growth of replicating strands of DNA, wherein DNA replication on the lagging strand occurs via formation of short DNA fragments that are subsequently linked together. Those short DNA fragments came to be known as "Okazaki fragments."
In 2015, Nagoya University launched the Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award, "to honor of the spirit and legacy of Professors Okazaki. The award is offered each year to an early career scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of biology through innovative and original approaches or transformative technologies."
Fellow Princeton University faculty member, Clifford Brangwynne, the June K. Wu '92 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, was the 6th Okazaki Award winner in 2022.