KINOSHITA, JIN, DR., passed away peacefully on August 20, 2010 in San Jose, at the age of 89. He was born in San Francisco on July 20, 1921. Jin was internationally recognized and honored as a researcher, administrator, professor, and advisor to many young scientists. He is considered a pioneer in the biochemical study of cataracts and his research continues to have a profound influence on the course of ophthalmic biochemistry. His lifelong research, which focused on a non-surgical treatment to prevent cataracts caused by diabetes, continues today.
Jin was born into a family of 4 brothers and a sister. He was well known in the Japanese American community for his athletic abilities and humor. During World War II, his family was relocated to Santa Anita Assembly Center and then to Topaz Relocation Camp in Utah. With the help of the American Friends Service Committee and Episcopal Church, he was able to leave camp to attend Bard College of Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Harvard University and joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School. In 1971, Jin was appointed the chief of the Laboratory of Vision Research in the newly formed National Eye Institute and 10 years later became scientific director of all basic and clinical research conducted by NEI on the National Institutes of Health campus. He retired from NEI in 1990 and moved to California to be a clinical research professor of ophthalmology at UC Davis.
Jin received many awards and honors throughout his life including the Friedenwald Award, Proctor Medal, Alcon Research Institute Award, honorary doctorate from Oakland University (Michigan) and Distinguished Service Award of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was also a two-time nominee for the Noble Prize and the recipient of the Japanese Emperor’s medal of honor, The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays.
His wife, Kay Kimura Kinoshita, known as a talented artist, predeceased him. He is survived by his sister, Emiko Chino of Chicago, and was preceded in death by his brothers Reiju, Satoshi and Tadashi. His many family and friends throughout the world will miss his humor, humility, smile, generous spirit and intelligence.
A private family memorial service will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, California. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice or the Kinoshita Lectureship Award (www.nfer.org).