The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo

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Message from the Dean

Comments to the IMSUT-SCHU Academic Exchange Agreement Signing Ceremony


I am very pleased to welcome here today the delegation of six distinguished guests from Soonchunhyang University (SCHU) including Dr. Kyo-Il Suh (President), Dr. Seung-Woo Kim (Vice-President), Dr. Jeong-Bin Yim (Chair and Professor), Dr. Kuk-Won Kim (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dean of the Office of Planning), Dr. Jin-Ri Kim (Assistant Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine) and Mr. Jae Sam Lim (Assistant Director, Office of International Cooperation) to conclude the academic exchange agreement between SCHU and IMSUT.

IMSUT was established by Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato 121 years ago as a private institute under the name of "The Institute for Infectious Disease (IID)", and underwent a developmental reorganization into the current "The Institute of Medical Science (IMS)" at the University of Tokyo (UT) 46 years ago. IMSUT has had its own affiliated hospital since its establishment and we have been always aiming to improve the academic research level in medical science by developing and providing advanced medical treatment, vaccine and drug. Currently, we are conducting modern basic and clinical research on intractable and rare diseases and trying to develop novel therapies, preventions and vaccines for these kinds of diseases based on the basic research findings. In order to achieve this goal, it is very important to continuously lead medical science research in the world with a strategic fusion between cutting-edge basic research and clinical research in the areas of infectious diseases, oncology, immunology, genomic medicine, regenerative medical science, basic medical science and translational research (TR).

SCHU is established as a medical university in 1978 and commemorates the 35th anniversary this year. Please accept our heartiest congratulations on the 35th anniversary! I am also impressed by the philosophy of late Prof. Sukjo Suh, a founder of SCHU, "With a love for life and a will for healing", an important attitude for Medicine and life.

One of the biggest features of SCHU with its 4 affiliated hospitals is also TR being promoted by newly created Soonchunhyang Institute of Medi-bio Science (SIMS). My understanding is that SIMS has started to recruit prominent researchers initially and mainly in the fields of stem cells and regenerative medicine, aiming to become a hub research and clinical institute in these fields in Korea. As we share these features and goals in common, we believe that fruitful mutual exchanges between IMSUT&IMSUT Hospital and SIMS&SCHU can be conducted in the area of stem cell and regenerative medical science as a first area of collaboration. In addition, we are learning that SCHU is planning to establish an "IMSUT Lab" at SIMS. It is very exciting news for us and we feel honored to know that SCHU is so enthusiastic about the collaboration with us. Furthermore, we would like to provide new educational and training opportunity for young researchers through mutual academic exchanges between SCHU and IMSUT. For example, we welcome young researchers including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members from SCHU to international medical science symposia and/or other international activities that we organize to promote global academic/research exchanges and the establishment of global medical science information networks which might lead to collaborative research or clinical research between Japan and Korea. I have high expectations for the initiation and development of new medical science platform between SCHU and IMSUT by our talented researchers through the process of our academic exchanges.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank here everyone who devoted themselves to this academic exchange agreement between SCHU and IMSUT. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Jeong-bin Yim for his long-time contributions to the creation of scientific interactive platform between Korea and Japan such as East Asia Joint Symposium (EAJS) from its foundation. We also had a productive and instrumental scientific interaction with the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Seoul National University where Prof. Yim had been serving as Dean before. We are so happy to see that Prof. Yim's vision and his contribution will now be expanded to new SCHU and IMSUT joint efforts in creating the global scientific platform for medical science between Korea and Japan.

Finally, we appreciate SCHU's taking the initiative to hold our kick-off symposium so soon, in November in their beautiful campus. We will send our outstanding researchers in the area of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, Dr. Sumiko Watanabe, Dr. Nobukazu Watanabe and Dr. Makoto Otsu with Dr. Yoshinori Murakami, Vice-Dean of our institute to the symposium for the excellent start of the substantive collaboration between SCHU and IMSUT. I really hope that the agreement will lead both of us to the further development of medical science research and education. President Kyo-Il Suh and his distinguish colleagues; we welcome you again to IMSUT for the conclusion of MOU.