Statement of condolence following the passing of Professor Yoshito Kishi

On behalf of Nagoya University, we wish to offer our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Professor Yoshito Kishi, who sadly passed away on January 10, 2023. Under the guidance of Professor Yoshimasa Hirata, Professor Kishi first obtained a Bachelor of Science and then a Ph.D. at Nagoya University studying the synthesis and structure of Cypridina luciferin. After completing his Ph.D., Professor Kishi worked at Nagoya University School of Science then moved to the United States for postdoctoral research at Harvard University. He returned to Nagoya University as an assistant professor in the School of Agricultural Sciences. Later, for the rest of his career, he was Morris Loeb Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University. 


During his career, Professor Kishi studied rare natural organic compounds such as tetrodoxin, the poison produced by puffer fish. His research on the total synthesis of such compounds contributed to a better understanding of their chemical structure, building blocks, and the reactivity of these molecules. Along with his work on total synthesis, Professor Kishi was an innovator in a wide range of fields. For example, by his contributions to the development of new chemical reactions, he helped clear the way for the pharmaceutical production of several complex natural organic compounds.


Dr. Kishi received a number of awards both in Japan and overseas, including the Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy and the American Chemical Society Ernest Guenther Award. In 2001, the Japanese government named him a Person of Cultural Merit.


We give our heartfelt thanks to Professor Kishi for his contributions to the academic life of Nagoya University and his contributions to scientific knowledge. 


May he rest in peace.


Naoshi Sugiyama
President of Nagoya University