Position: Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Conservatory Academics
Employed Since: 2017
M.D., Ph.D., Keio University (Japan); Ph.D., Osaka University (Japan)
Dr. Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D. and Ph.D., is an internationally recognized scientist, innovator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Trained and certified as a medical doctor at Keio University School of Medicine in Japan, Dr. Ueno spent his academic career in the fields of pharmacology, physiology and biochemistry at Columbia University, Kyoto University, Osaka University and Stanford University. He has authored more than 100 articles in notable scientific journals. He is also passionate about classical music and is the founder and executive producer of the Ryuji Ueno Foundation.
In the 1980s, Dr. Ueno first discovered the tremendous therapeutic potential of prostones, a class of functional fatty acids. After 10 years of biomedical research, he founded R-Tech Ueno, Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company that developed Rescula® (unoprostone), a BK channel opener discovered by Dr. Ueno to treat glaucoma that has been used by more than 500,000 patients in 45 countries. In 1996, Dr. Ueno moved to the United States and established Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, which successfully developed a second medicine, AMITIZA® (lubiprostone), a ClC-2 channel opener discovered by Dr. Ueno to treat various gastrointestinal conditions. In 2019, Dr. Ueno was appointed professor at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Regulation of Neurocognitive Disorders. He seeks to elucidate and provide a novel effective therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Ueno has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including Nikkei BP Publications’ Japan Innovator of the Year Award (2006), the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category (2006), honorary membership in the American Gastroenterological Association (2008) and the Foundation Fighting Blindness Visionary Award (2014).
In 2015, Dr. Ueno founded the Ryuji Ueno Foundation and serves as its executive producer. Through the foundation, Dr. Ueno produces more than 14 performances a year inviting renowned artists from across the world. He also began the Potomac Music Lab Project, an incubator for classical music where world-class musicians can experiment with their craft. The project includes The 6821 Quintet, named for the distance in miles between Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, that performed its world debut at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in 2016. Dr. Ueno has also created the Global Leadership Program in collaboration with the Liechtenstein Music Academy, an opportunity for various international music students to learn what it means to be a professional performing artist in the United States.
Dr. Ueno previously served as president of the Evermay Chamber Orchestra, which joined the Washington Ballet to present live performances of Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre in April 2015. He has also served as a board member of the Washington Ballet (2014 to 2015) and committee chair for the S&R Washington Award (2000 to 2015). He currently is a board member of the New Orchestra of Washington, Young Concert Artists in DC and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He is also the sponsor and chief lecturer of the International Music Academy of Liechtenstein’s Washington Semester program, as well as a distinguished lecturer at Shenandoah University, and president of Omotesenke Doumonkai Eastern USA.
Dr. Ueno routinely offers private coaching for pianists, violinists, violists, singers, guitarists, composers and conductors, assisting numerous top tier artists from around the world. He also coaches trio, quartets, quintets and chamber orchestras.
Dr. Ueno is passionate about classical music and is a collector of musical instruments. He is a major supporter of music in the greater Washington, D.C. area and is himself a dedicated amateur flutist. For his continued dedication and support of the arts, he has received the Mayor’s Art Award for Visionary Leadership (2015), the Business Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Washington Business Journal (2015), the ArtsMatter Award for contributing to the growth of the arts from the New Orchestra of Washington (2017) and the S&R Foundation Award (2017).
List of Awards
- 2006 – Scrip Awards finalist for Best New Small Molecule Drug (AMITIZA): UK
- 2006 – Nikkei BP Publications’ Japan Innovator of the Year Award: Japan
- 2007 – Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category: USA
- 2008 – American Gastroenterological Association honorary member: USA
- 2008 – Finalist for the Prix Galien USA 2008 Award (AMITIZA): USA
- 2008 – Ranked # 4 by the Deloitte Maryland Technology Fast 50 Awards: USA
- 2008 – Ranked #100 on the Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list which recognizes the fastest growing technology media, telecommunication and life science companies in North America based on a five year revenue growth: USA
- 2008 – Presented the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Hall of Fame Award for distinguished service to Consultant and Senior Care Pharmacy Practice: USA
- 2008 – Ranked #25 of Fastest Growing Companies (by revenue growth) by Washington Business Journal: USA
- 2008 – Scrip Awards finalist for Pharma Company of the Year: UK
- 2009 – Tech Council of Maryland Biotech Firm of the Year: USA
- 2009 – Selected one of five finalists for Biotech Company of the Year by the Scrip Awards: USA
- 2009 – Ranked #33 by The Washington Business Journal’s ranking of Fastest Growing Companies: USA
- 2009 – Ranked #65 by the Deloitte-sponsored Technology Fast 500™ which ranks technology companies on the percentage of fiscal year revenue growth over a five-year period: USA
- 2009 – Named one of The Top 10 Drugs of the Decade by The Pharmacist Activist (AMITIZA): USA
- 2014 – The 12th Annual D.C. “For the Love of Sight” Visionary Awards: USA
- 2015 – Honorary co-chair for the 13th Annual For the Love of Sight Visionary Awards: USA
- 2015 – Mayor’s Art Award for Visionary Leadership at the 30th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards: USA
- 2015 – Business Philanthropist of the Year Award – Washington Business Journal: USA
- 2017 – ArtsMatter Award for contributing to the growth of the arts – New Orchestra of Washington: USA
- 2017 – S&R Foundation Award: USA