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Profile of Riken scientist Obokata

Haruko Obokata is the lead author of the papers on the new stem cell technique. The 30-year old woman is a researcher at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology.

Obokata graduated from Waseda University's Department of Applied Chemistry School of Advanced Science and Engineering.

She went on to study stem cells and regenerative medicine at Tokyo Women's Medical University's Institute of Advanced BioMedical Engineering and Science.

She also studied at Harvard Medical School in Boston under Dr. Charles Vacanti. While there, Obokata first got the idea that eventually led to the new discovery. Dr. Vacanti also co-authored the papers on STAP.
Obokata began full-scale research on the new stem cell technique at RIKEN, in Kobe, western Japan, in 2011. She became a team leader at the lab last year.

Japan's education minister Hakubun Shimomura said the ground-breaking research led by such a young female scientist is something Japan can be proud of.

He said the government wants to support favorable working environments for young and female researchers.

Shimomura said the government wants to do all it can to make Japan one of the world's best places for scientific and technological innovations to nurture more scientists like Obokata.

Jan. 30, 2014 - Updated 06:34 UTC