The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo

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Visitors from Germany

On the afternoon of February 3, 2009, IMSUT received 7 visitors from Germany and German Embassy led by the Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Health, Ms. Marion Caspers-Merk. Hers is the second highest position within the ministry. Although the main purpose of the visit was to meet with Professor Yusuke Nakamura to learn about his pioneering work in both personalized medicine and peptide vaccination as a cancer treatment, Vice-Dean Kiyono met the visitors in our Medical Science Museum, and provided them with a brief overview of our institute with respect both to our current research organization and our historical ties with Germany. The visitors were very fascinated by these ties and the exhibited letter from Dr. Paul Ehrlich to Kitasato Shibasaburo. As it turns out, the Robert Koch Institute is a mere 300 meters from the State Secretary"s office, and falls under her ministry's jurisdiction.

Amidst mild weather, we walked from the museum to Prof. Nakamura's lab, pausing to view and explain the animal memorial (doubutsu ireihi) for its very Japanese spirit. At the presentation by Prof. Nakamura, Ms. Caspers-Merk listened attentively and asked many probing questions. During the ensuing discussion, she also asked to what extent Prof. Nakamura interacts with German scientists, and indicated her interest in seeing such interactions initiated or strengthened. For his part, Prof. Nakamura indicated that he was quite aware of German scientists in his field, and would be very happy to interact with them. The visit culminated with a tour of his lab facilities on the 6th and 7th floors of the General Research Building, as well as BioBank Japan, located in the basement of Clinical Research Building A. The German delegation then departed, expressing satisfaction with their visit, and the hope that interactions will expand.

Photo 1) Prof. Nakamura explains biobank japan to the visitors Photo 2) Group photo of the visitors (the State Secretary stands next to Prof. Kiyono) Photo 3) At the Medical Science Museum