Dr. Morishima was born in 1929 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. She graduated from Toho University, Medical School in 1951. In 1960, she obtained a Ph.D. degree in medicine from the University of Tokyo. She came to the United States in 1959 as a resident of the anesthesia department at Washington D.C General Hospital. In 1961, she became a faculty member at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Anesthesiology, where she then dedicated the rest of her academic career. She was appointed as Assistant Professor in 1968, Associate Professor in 1974, and Professor of Anesthesiology in 1984. In 1986, she was also appointed as Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Until she retired in 2002, she made significant contributions to research and education in the fields of Obstetrics Anesthesia and Perinatology.
Dr. Morishima contributed to the advancement of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology in both Japan and the United States. Her dedicated research in these fields led to new methods that contributed to safer anesthesia for pregnant women, fetuses, and newborn infants. Over the years, she also served as a member of the Research Review Committee, Study Sections for the United States National Institute of Health, as well as National Institute of Drug Abuse, Biomedical Research Review Committee.
From 1968 to 2002, she mentored and trained many young physicians and Ph.D. candidates, including students in the United States as well as those from Japan and other countries, in the fields of obstetric anesthesia and perinatology.
Dr. Morishima tirelessly contributed to the academic exchange between Japan and the United States in her fields of specialty. She still often gives lectures at conferences for Japanese Society of Anesthesiology and Japanese Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology as well as at various medical schools.
Dr. Morishima has been an active lecturer on the topic of gender equality and the empowerment of women in the medical field in Japan. Through her life's experience in breaking the "glass ceiling" barrier of the predominantly male medical societies in the United States, she has become a role model and had been sharing her wisdom and knowledge with other female physicians, particularly in Japan, to promote continuing professionalism for women.
On April 12, 2012, the Government of Japanese conferred Dr. Morishima with the Imperial Decoration of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, for her lifetime contribution to the academic exchanges between Japan and the United States of America. The Order of the Sacred Treasure (or 瑞宝章 Zuihō-shō in Japanese) was established on 4 January 1888 by Emperor Meiji and originally called the Order of Meiji.
Last updated August 17, 2020