The 18th(2002) Award

Award Ceremony
Opening Address
Report on the Process of Selection
Address by His Majesty the Emperor
Congratulatory Address
(Prime Minister)
Congratulatory Address
(Minister of Education)
Acceptance Address
(Professor Masatoshi Nei)
Awards the 2002 International Prize for Biology
JSPS Homepage
NEI Homepage


Address by His Majesty the Emperor

I should like to express my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Masatoshi Nei on being awarded the 18th International Prize for Biology. This year, the Prize is awarded in the field of gBiology of Evolution.h Through his long years of research, Dr. Nei has conducted molecular-level studies on genetic diversity in populations and evolutionary relationships among species, developing his own innovative statistical methods, such as techniques for accurately estimating the time of divergence of different species and detecting the gene regions in which natural selection takes place. These advances have laid the theoretical foundation of contemporary gmolecular evolutionary biology.h

Among the statistical methodologies that Dr. Nei has devised is his world-recognized technique of estimating the degree of genetic difference between populations from protein and DNA data by defining the ggenetic distance.h This technique, called gNeifs genetic distance,h is both widely used and highly regarded by researchers worldwide. Furthermore, Dr. Nei was the first to clarify the theoretical relationship between gene trees and species trees. He and his collaborator also developed the gneighbor-joining methodh for inferring molecular phylogenies. This has become the most widely used method in the world for constructing phylogenetic trees.

I myself have long studied the gobioid fishes from a morphological point of view, and I co-authored and published a paper with a number of colleagues two years ago on an analysis of these fishes conducted from a molecular phylogenetic perspective. In this study, we applied the neighbor-joining method, and we obtained interesting findings on the morphogenetic relationships of these fishes. I was deeply impressed with the value of Dr. Neifs methods in understanding the affinities and phylogenies of organisms.

The products of Dr. Neifs research are widely used by researchers and contribute immensely to the advancement of biological sciences. With my sincerest hope that his research will continue to yield much fruit, I should like to reiterate my heartiest congratulations to Dr. Masatoshi Nei.