A life in research on lens regeneration and transdifferentiation. An interview with Goro Eguchi
Published: 1 November 2004
Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Even at the age of 70, Goro Eguchi maintains a busy schedule: he is the Chairman and President of Shokei Educational Institution in Kumamoto, and flies every Monday morning from Kyushu to Tokyo to attend meetings to decide Japan's science and technology policy as Principal Fellow and Research Mentor of the Japan Science and Technology Agency. In this interview, I wanted to know how he became interested in developmental biology, and what he wanted to discover and achieve as a developmental biologist. I knew he is an excellent illustrator, as he draws all the original figures published in his papers. During our interview, he showed me two beautiful and well-preserved manuscripts which he had copied himself from insect books when he was sixteen (Fig. 1A). This talent in drawing changed his life when the famous developmental biologist Tadao Sato saw Eguchi's illustrations in his histology and comparative anatomy classes. In our interview, he recounted how he learned from Professor Sato and went on to become a developmental biologist, studying lens regeneration in the newt. At 70, he still does experiments on newt lens regeneration, rearing newts from fertilized eggs at his home. As mentioned in this interview, he has recently found that repeated lens removal causes a significant delay in lens regeneration from newt epithelium. He finds time to relax by making model sailboats with his very nimble artist's fingers.