Shimadzu to promote Nobel laureate

OSAKA — Shimadzu Corp. plans to promote Koichi Tanaka to an executive post as early as this week in recognition of his winning the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry, according to company officials.

The new post for Tanaka, an assistant manager of Shimadzu’s Life Science Laboratory, will be an unprecedentedly rapid promotion from his current post, which is below the level of section chief.

“The conventional management posts such as section and department chiefs are just not enough to create an environment for him to further his research,” a company spokesman said Saturday.

Tanaka, 43, will most likely be promoted to an executive post, but the company may set up a new position so that he can concentrate on his research, the officials said.

After graduating from Tohoku University in 1983 and joining Shimadzu the same year, Tanaka has served as an engineer throughout his career at the company, including positions at affiliated companies and laboratories in Britain.

Tanaka has repeatedly said after winning the Nobel Prize last week that he is not interested in promotions, saying, “My greatest desire is to continue my research.”

Tanaka shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with John Fenn of the United States and Kurt Wuethrich of Switzerland. They were rewarded for their contributions to the study of proteins that have paved the way for the development of new medicines and the early diagnosis of cancer.