On Friday, June 7, 2012, Einstein’s Global Health Center hosted Dr. Gordon Sato to speak about his lifelong efforts to bring prosperity to impoverished villagers in Eritrea. The event was co-hosted by Dr. Jesse Roth, member of Einstein’s first graduating class and clinical professor of medicine, who has been instrumental in the publication of a new children’s book about Dr. Sato’s experiences, The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families; and by Dr. Sato’s former mentee, Dr. Susan Horwitz, co-chair of molecular pharmacology and the Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research.
Dr. Sato has been instrumental in founding multiple biotechnology ventures and established the Manzanar Project, an initiative started in Eritrea that focuses on developing low-tech and locally-sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty. During his talk, Dr. Sato detailed the history of the project, answered questions on how it was run, and discussed his new book, which is the story of the Manzanar Project geared to children.
Dr. Sato, whose interest in growing food in unlikely places stems from his childhood in the Japanese internment camps during World War II, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the author or co-author of over 150 publications, and mentor to a long list of students in cell and molecular biology and, more recently, in aquaculture and silvaculture. He is best known for his contribution to the understanding of the multiple factors required for the culture and husbandry of mammalian cells outside the body. Dr. Sato was named a 2002 recipient of the Rolex Award for Enterprise and The 2005 Blue Planet Award and is the subject of “The Mangrove Man,” distributed on DVD internationally, as well as on programs aired about the topic in Japan.
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