Kiyoshi Shiga (1870-1957)

Kiyoshi Shiga was born in 1870 in Sendai and studied at the Imperial University in Tokyo where in 1894, two years before receiving his doctorate, he was made an assistant to Kitasato at the Institute for Infectious Diseases. Kitasato sent him in 1901 to work with Paul Ehrlich in Frankfurt am Main and with Albrecht Kossel in Heidelberg. Returning to Japan two years later, he took over a department at the Kitasato Institute for Infectious Diseases, where he stayed until 1929, when he was appointed president of Keijo University in Chosen. As early as 1898, he discovered the causative organism of the toxic form of dysentery, a bacillus that proved to be identical with the pathogen of the same condition described by Walther Kruse and was, therefore, called Shiga-Kruse. (Today the entire dysentery group bears the name of Shigella and the toxic strain is called Shigella shigae.) Shiga also worked with Paul Ehrlich on trypanosomes and devoted the final years of his active life to intensive research into leprosy. He died in 1957 at the age of 86, three years after taking part in the Frankfurt celebrations that marked the centenary of Paul Ehrlich's birth.