Amassing 55 years of professional excellence in medicine, Yoichiro Ito, MD, has been serving as a medical officer in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Center at the National Institutes of Health since 1978. In this position, he oversees the Laboratory of Bioseparation Technology, where the researchers’ primary interests include inventing methods of isolating, purifying or analyzing biomedical materials, including cells and macromolecules, by means of counter-current chromatography and elutriation.
The holder of 50 patents in the field, Dr. Ito has conducted research in separation science, such as the development of cell separation. His patents involve coil planet centrifuge, rotating-seal-free flow-through centrifuge, and pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography, among other specializations. Notably, he developed a patent for a cancer chemical separation process. In light of his research interests, he has contributed more than 600 articles to esteemed journals.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Ito was a visiting scientist at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Md., for 10 years and a physiology instructor at the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka City University in Japan for five years beginning in 1963. He obtained a Doctor of Medicine from the university in 1958 and subsequently interned at the United States Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, for one year. Soon thereafter, he completed a residency in pathology at The MetroHealth System for two years and the Michael Reese Hospital for another two years.
In recognition of his exceptional contributions to medicine, Dr. Ito has accrued several accolades throughout his career. The recipient of the Fulbright Exchange Scholarship from 1959 to 1963, he won the First Place Award in Annual Science Research Presentation from The MetroHealth System in 1960 and a research travel grant from the World Health Organization in 1968. In addition, he won the Technology Excellence Award in 1979 and the FLC Mid-Atlantic Region’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for High-Speed Counter-Current Chromatography in 2010.
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