Dr. Anthony Tosi attends international symposium celebrating the career of Dr. Hirohisa Hirai, Professor of Kyoto University, Japan
Dr. Hirohisa Hirai, Professor of Kyoto University and former Director of the Primate Research Institute (PRI), retired at the end of March. In his honor, a two-day symposium on “Genome and Cell Biology of Primates” was held at the PRI in Inuyama, Japan. Former students from throughout Japan, and long-time collaborators from Indonesia, Korea, Italy, and the United States gave presentations on research stemming from, and developed with, Dr. Hirai. Topics included chromosome evolution, genetic introgression, transposable elements, taste receptor evolution, cognitive genomics, and evolutionary developmental biology. Dr. Anthony Tosi, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Kent State, attended and gave a presentation on “Sex Chromosome Introgression in Cercopithecine Monkeys,” which included discussion of a recent study co-authored with Dr. Hirai.
Dr. Hirai and Dr. Tosi have been friends for 20 years. That friendship has been the foundation of a rapidly expanding research network between Kent State and Kyoto University. After Dr. Tosi arrived at Kent in 2014, the two began building bridges between their respective institutions, resulting in a formal five-year Memorandum of Understanding (2016-2021). Dr. Hirai has since created several opportunities for KSU researchers to visit the PRI. To date, four Anthropology faculty (Meindl, Raghanti, Tosi, Eren) and three graduate students (Munger, Ruiz, Jones) developed projects with new Japanese colleagues introduced to them by Dr. Hirai. Dr. Tosi presented Dr. Hirai with a pair of framed stone tools, one knapped in an ancient American (PaleoIndian, ca. 9,000 BP) style, and the other knapped in an ancient Japanese (Jomon, ca. 14,000 BP) style. The inclusion of both styles was purposeful to commemorate Dr. Hirai's efforts to establish the connection between Kent State University and The Primate Research Institute. Both tools were created by KSU Archaeology Professor Dr. Metin Eren.
While attending the symposium, Dr. Tosi visited several PRI colleagues, chatted with old friends, and met new researchers from Japan and elsewhere.
Though Dr. Hirai is no longer taking new research projects, his leaves behind a tremendous legacy: he has written a vast number of publications, guided the careers of many students, and developed international collaborations for his laboratory and others at the Primate Research Institute. Dr. Tosi is deeply grateful for his support, guidance, and friendship.
The trip ended wonderfully: the cherry blossoms had just come into bloom.