The CEIRS Network congratulates Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD, who was selected for a Japan Academy Award. Dr. Kawaoka holds professorships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo and is part of the Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (CRIP). Since 1911, the Japan Academy has acknowledged outstanding publications and the achievement of notable research breakthroughs with this award. Dr. Kawaoka is being recognized for his seminal contributions to the field of influenza research in the development of synthetic influenza viruses using a technology known as reverse genetics. This work has had a global impact on public health as it advanced the scientific understanding of human and animal influenza viruses and contributes to the production of influenza vaccines. The Japan Academy acknowledged recent work that utilized reverse genetics to understand how avian viruses adapt to and become transmissible in mammals. Notably, this work revealed a novel underlying property of influenza viruses that allows for their transmission, informing how avian viruses might become pandemic in humans. Dr. Kawaoka was selected for the award in March. The 106th Annual Award Ceremony will take place in summer 2016 in the presence of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan.