Dr. Masaki Shirakawa

Dr. Masaki Shirakawa

Director of JEM Utilization Center

Dr. Shirakawa is the Director of JEM (“Kibo”) Utilization Center in the Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He also serves as the Deputy JAXA ISS Program Manager.

Shirakawa joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (currently JAXA) in 1994, and has since worked at the Tsukuba Space Center in various departments concerning human spaceflight technology, space environment utilization, and the International Space Station Program. From 2002 to 2003, he became a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2004 to 2006, he worked for the Directorate of Science and Technology Policy (Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology Policy) at the Government of Japan’s Cabinet Office.

Before taking on the current role in 2022, he was responsible for integration of life science missions in Kibo, development of JAXA’s new rodent research capability, which was achieved in 2016, and international coordination and strategic planning for Kibo utilization as the Head of JEM Utilization Planning Group.