Okayama University


Professor Shen awarded Japan’s Medal with Purple Ribbon in Autumn 2020

November 02, 2020

Professor Shen Jian-Ren , Vice Dean of Okayama University's Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in Autumn 2020. The Medal with Purple Ribbon is a national award given to those who have made significant inventions or discoveries in the fields of science and technology, or outstanding achievements in the fields of science, sports, arts and culture.

Professor Shen received the award in recognition of his achievements in biochemistry and plant physiology research, after elucidating for the first time in the world the crystal structure of the photosystem II protein complex, which catalyzes light-induced water oxidation. He further analyzed the intermediate state structures of the light-driven enzymatic reaction ,which greatly advanced our understanding on the water-splitting reaction. Professor Shen also analyzed structures of a number of other photosynthetic membrane protein complexes, which provide important insights into the mechanisms of highly efficient utilization of light energy in photosynthesis.

Upon receiving the prestigious award, Professor Shen stated that, “I am very pleased to have been awarded with the Medal with Purple Ribbon. I am grateful to my colleagues who have collaborated with me in my research and look forward to continuing this important work.”