Dr. Yoshiro Shimura received a BS and MS from Kyoto University in 1956 and 1958, respectively. He received a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1963 (and also from Kyoto University in 1968) and subsequently spent 4 years as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Daniel Nathan at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1969, he took the position of associate professor in the Department of Biophysics (Faculty of Science) of Kyoto University and later the position of full professor in the same department in 1984. In the Biophysics Department, he was first engaged in molecular genetic studies of tRNA and conducted pioneering works on tRNA identity and tRNA processing including RNaseP. Later on, he became interested in mRNA splicing and made significant contributions to the field. During the period of 1986-1994, he was appointed as an adjunct professor at the National Institute for Basic Biology. In the institute, he initiated research on plant molecular genetics using Arabidopsis thaliana, and isolated and characterized many novel development mutants. Since he retired from Kyoto University in 1996, he has been honored as a professor emeritus of the university. From 1996, he has been serving as the Director of the Bimolecular Engineering Research Institute.
He has also served on numerous panels and advisory boards including the Science Adviser for Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (Monbusho) (1988-1990), the member of the Science Council for Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (Monbusho) (1990-1998), and the president of the RNA Society of Japan (1999-).
Dr. Shimura received the following honors: The Kyoto Newspaper Culture Prize (1991), The Japan Genetics Society Kihara Prize (1993), and The Japan Academy Prize (1994).