Drawing upon five decades of expertise in neurochemistry, pharmacology and academia, Dr. Tetsufumi Ueda is distinguished in his field for his unparalleled expertise regarding the identification of glutamate as the primary central nervous system transmitter. Throughout the course of his career, he has conducted extensive research into the discovery, purification and characterization of Synapsin I and NADH-rubredoxin reductase, as well as an inhibitory factor, which reduces glutamate/GABA intake into synaptic vesicles. He is especially renowned for his work in the composition and methods for the inhibition of neurotransmitter uptake of synaptic vesicles, for which he received a U.S. patent in 2000. From an early age, Dr. Ueda fostered an innate interest in neurochemistry, and while living in his native Japan, he created a radio using vacuum tubes. He later went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Kyoto University in 1966.
Upon relocating to the United States in 1966, Dr. Ueda attended the University of Michigan, where he began a teaching fellowship in the Department of Biological Chemistry and conducted his doctoral studies. Receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in biological chemistry in 1971, he went on to serve Yale University as a postdoctoral associate in their Department of Pharmacology and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship. For the following two years, he served Yale University as a research associate before beginning his longstanding tenure with the University of Michigan.
Joining the University of Michigan in 1978, Dr. Ueda served as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and an assistant research scientist in the Mental Health Research Institute. He then was escalated to the rank of associate professor of pharmacology in psychiatry and associate research scientist in 1981, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology in 1984, and a senior research scientist in 1988. In 1989, Dr. Ueda was granted a full professorship in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, which he held until attaining emeritus status in 2016. During this time, he was recognized as a research professor in the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, where he is now recognized as a research professor emeritus. While completing his tenure at the University of Michigan, he also served in myriad committees in several departments, and has been a highly recognized presenter and speaker across the globe. He also served as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the British Medical Research Council and the NATO Advanced Study Institute.
Demonstrating versatility in his field, Dr. Ueda has sat on the editorial board of the scientific journals Journal of Molecular Neuroscience from 1990 to 1993 and Neurochemical Research since 2014, and has also published extensively. Contributing articles to professional journals and chapters to books, he has maintained membership with such organizations as the American Chemical Society, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Neurochemistry and American Society for Neurochemistry.
As a testament to his resounding success, Dr. Ueda has received numerous grants in his field for his groundbreaking research. He also received a plethora of accolades, such as the Senior Research Scientist Lectureship Award from the University of Michigan in 1994 and the NIH Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award between 1988 and 1995. He was named listed in Volume Two of the World Biographical Hall of Fame from 1985 to 1986, The First Five Hundred in 1985, the Third Edition of the Biographical Roll of Honor in 1985, Men of Achievement from 1984 to 1985, and Personalities of America from 1984 to 1985. He was highlighted in Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology in 1984-1985, Who’s Who in the World in 1984-1985, Who’s Who in America in 2011, Who’s Who in America in 2018 and Who’s Who in the World in 2021. He earned the Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017-2018.