University of Tokyo graduate begins prestigious American fellowship

Ryotaro Kato, M.D., has been named a McDonnell International Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. He holds a medical degree from the University of Tokyo, which is one of 16 leading Asian universities partnered with Washington University in St. Louis in the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, along with two leading research institutions in Israel and two in Turkey.

Kato is pursuing a doctor of law degree and plans to graduate in May 2007. He plans to pursue a career in health care law or intellectual property law.

“Ryotaro Kato is another of the stars we have in the Academy,” said James V. Wertsch, Ph.D., the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences and director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy. “After finishing medical school at the University of Tokyo, he came to do a residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and then entered our School of Law. This young man promises to be a global leader on health care policy, and we hope the ties he has developed through the McDonnell Academy will serve him well in what promises to be a very important future.”

Kato was a member of the varsity judo team and captain of the golf team at the University of Tokyo. His hobbies include golf, judo, snowboarding and cooking.

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is both new and unique. Employing an unusual structure and approach, it brings together top scholars from many countries to pursue world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another. Key to this are partnerships Washington University has established with top universities and corporations around the world with an eye to increasing opportunities for joint research and global education.

The McDonnell Academy Scholars are considered future world leaders in their fields. As such, they are provided not only rigorous graduate instruction, but a thorough cultural, political and social education designed to prepare them as leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries, and critical international issues.

Once selected for this highly competitive program, each scholar is matched with a distinguished member of the Washington University faculty who serves as a mentor for the scholar and also as an “ambassador” to the university partner from which the scholar has graduated. The ambassador assists the McDonnell Scholar in academic and professional life and travels annually with the scholar to the partner university to build relationships between the two institutions.

Shirley J. Dyke, Ph.D., professor of civil engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is Kato’s faculty mentor-ambassador. Dyke has made major contributions to obtain a better understanding of structural dynamics, structural control, vibration and earthquake engineering. She is the director of the Structural Control and Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, where researchers seek ways to reduce losses and property damages from earthquakes. In order to encourage more formal training in structural dynamics and earthquake hazard migration at the undergraduate level, Dyke formed and is currently the director of the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables (UCIST). Dyke is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and is an associate editor of ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics.

The McDonnell Academy Scholars receive funding for full tuition, living expenses and travel to and from St. Louis. Most of the scholars reside in two fully equipped and furnished apartment buildings near campus.

Funding is provided through a sustaining endowment gift from John F. McDonnell, vice chairman of the Washington University Board of Trustees and retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corporation, additional endowment pledges, and 11 multinational corporate and foundation sponsors. Sponsoring corporations also offer internships and on-site educational opportunities for the Academy’s Corporate Fellows.