This series explores topics surrounding women who began their careers in Japan following the implementation of equal opportunities employment legislation in the mid-1980s. With many now reaching the age of retirement, it is hoped their stories can provide insight and lessons for women in Japan's working world today.

Professor Noriko Osumi, 61, is one of the most eminent female scientists in Japan. Since 2018, she has served as vice president at Sendai-based Tohoku University — one of seven prestigious Japanese national universities, founded in 1907.

Her academic achievements include seminal work on the PAX6 gene, which is important for eye, brain and behavioral development. Ultimately, her work on PAX6 pivoted Osumi's research toward explaining autism.