Shinya Inoué, a distinguished scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., has been awarded the 2003 International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for his work in cell biology and video microscopy.

Inoué quelled a half century of debate when he proved the existence of spindle fibers while studying at Princeton in 1951 (S. Inoué, "Regulation of the submicroscopic organization of the mitotic spindle," Science, 114:685, December 28, 1951). He determined that spindle fibers form to pull apart chromosomes during mitosis, then disassemble between cycles of cell division; he later used electron microscopy to identify the molecules comprising the fibers as microtubules.

Inoué began his career studying cell structure and organization with Katsuma Dan at the University of Tokyo, where he used a microscope made from a machine gun barrel to show Emperor Showa, who reigned from 1926...

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