Kyoto, Japan -- The University of Edinburgh's MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
(MRC-CRM) and Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) signed a memorandum of understanding covering future collaborative research.
For the MRC-CRM the agreement will be the first of its kind with an institute in Japan. Prof Sir Ian Wilmut FRS, FRSE, Chairman of MRC-CRM, expresses high hopes for the new partnership. "This has not come about overnight, but rather through a series of mutual visits starting with a trip several of us made to Kyoto last year. We anticipate that this will mark the beginning of substantive joint research projects, contributing to the advancement of regenerative medicine in both countries."
Prof and iCeMS Director Norio Nakatsuji echoes these sentiments, adding, "Both
institutions are already well known for stem cell research and medical engineering, and with this agreement in place we will now be closely linked internationally and across disciplines."
A joint symposium will take place 25 July in Edinburgh, including five speakers from each institution including Profs Motonari Uesugi, Yong Chen, Nakatsuji and Associate Prof Shintaro Sengoku from the iCeMS, and MRC-CRM’s Director Prof Charles ffrench-Constant and Chief Operating Officer Dr Gordon McLean.
This new memorandum further strengthens ties between the University of Edinburgh and Kyoto University, which together signed a university-level academic collaboration agreement in 2005. Additionally, MRC-CRM is part of the Scottish government-endorsed Edinburgh BioQuarter, home to over 1,000 life science researchers. The BioQuarter enhances the cross-disciplinary research of both MRC-CRM and the iCeMS, and has already developed a relationship with the iCeMS through joint participation at an industry-focused seminar in Tokyo.
"It is a great pleasure for me as a Chief Executive of Scottish Development International to support the memorandum of understanding between the iCeMS and the MRC-CRM, designed to promote collaborative research," says Scottish Development International (SDI) Chief Executive Anne MacColl. "Scotland has a long trade history with Japan and our two nations have an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship. As a nation, Scotland has significant expertise in stem cells due to our world-class universities and dynamic life sciences industry and we are proud to be in a position to exchange knowledge and best practices in this field with Japan. Stimulating collaborative projects between Scottish and Japanese experts is a key priority of Scottish Development International and will bring benefit to both countries."
"This is a perfect fit for the MRC-CRM and the iCeMS, both highly esteemed in the field of regenerative medicine, while also cementing academic ties between the University of Edinburgh and Kyoto University," says Strategic Programs Division Director Mami Oyama of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). "It is my hope that this collaboration will lead to groundbreaking research contributing to further advancement of the field."
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