"I can explain the principle behind a good science experiment in 15 seconds; the same with magic."
Koji Nakanishi (1925- )
The achievements of organic chemist Koji Nakanishi are recognized internationally for their range and applications. Nakanishi developed new spectroscopic methods to analyze natural products, helping to isolate and determine the structure of more than 180 biologically active compounds produced by animals, plants, insects and microorganisms, and often suggesting commercial and therapeutic uses for them as well. Since 1975, Nakanishi's research has concentrated on the interaction of light with the molecules responsible for vision-studies likely to accelerate the development of a treatment for macular degeneration, which affects many elderly people and leads to the loss of sight. With his current group of graduate students, he is also studying the effects of gingko biloba extract on neurological disorders.