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Tokyo Symposium on Genomic Medicine, Therapeutics and Health (Apr 8-10, 2024)

On April 8-10th, 2024, the Tokyo Symposium on Genomic Medicine, Therapeutics and Health was held at the Hitotsubashi Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The event was organized in partnership by the RIKEN Center for Integrated Medical Sciences, the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine at McGill University, and the Fondation Pasteur Japon and sponsored by Olink Holding AB (publ), NANO MRNA Co., Ltd., SHIMADZU CORPORATION, HORIBA Ltd., New England Biolabs Inc., Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., French Embassy, IBM Japan, Ltd., NTT Life Science Co., Ltd. and the Québec Delegation. Leading academic and industry scientists and researchers actively discussed their work in the fields of genomics, RNA biology, immunology, epidemiology, and data science. Approximately 100 participants attended the Symposium each day, along with an online audience of 150 people.

The first day focused on large-scale data for precision health. Twelve experts, including Prof. Sir Rory Collins (UK Biobank/Oxford), Dr. Cindy Lawley (Olink/Virtual), Prof. Stéphanie Debette (Bordeaux University), Prof. Yukinori Okada (RIKEN), Prof. Jemma Hopewell (Oxford), Prof. Kazuyoshi Ishigaki (RIKEN), Prof. Nagahiro Minato (Kyoto University), Mr. Wilson Cheng (PacBio), Prof. Yoichiro Kamatani (UTokyo), Dr. Lucy Burkitt-Gray (UK Biobank), Mr. Nino da Silva (BC Platforms), and Mr. Norishige Morimoto (IBM Japan) presented their work and emphasized the importance of collaborative research.

The second day revolved around the application of precision health principles to the development of novel diagnostics and therapies. Thirteen speakers including Dr. Carolina IIkow (Ottawa Hospital Research Institue/Virtual), Dr. ShiroAkinaga (NANO MRNA), Prof. Yoko Hamazaki (Kyoto University), Ms. Yoko Nakai (HORIBA), Prof. David Juncker (McGill), Dr. Makoto Watanabe (SHIMADZU), Dr. Raquel Cuella Martin (McGill), Prof. Nada Jabado (McGill), Prof. Fumihiko Ishikawa (RIKEN), Prof. Marc Dumas (Imperial College London), Prof. Makoto Arita (RIKEN), Dr. Rami Suzuki (ARC Therapies), and Mr. Wataru Takasaki (Daiichi-Sankyo) presented their research. From the industry side, representatives from HORIBA Ltd. and SHIMADZU CORPORATION shared their visions, projects and challenges in their life science-related projects. From academia, discussions centered on proposing new testing methodologies for diseases lacking established diagnostic criteria, as well as exploring cellular and genetic-level research avenues aimed at advancing treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

After the presentations, a reception event was held at the French Residence. After a welcome speech from Professor Didier Marty-Dessus, Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Japan, there were short speeches by Mr. Louis-Pierre Emond, Minister of Commercial from the Embassy of Canada, and Ms. Marie-Louise Taylor, Science and Innovation Counsellor of British Embassy Tokyo, with closing remarks made by Executive Director Makiko Naka from RIKEN. The speeches delivered by these distinguished guests underscored the vital importance of future collaboration among nations in advancing scientific endeavors and fostering innovation.

The topic of the third day revolved around society, immunology, infection and planetary health. Sixteen experts, including Dr. Kazuhiko Yamamoto (RIKEN), Dr. Yuka Iwasaki (RIKEN), Dr. Mathieu Mancini (McGill), Dr. Yann Joly (McGill), Prof. Kaori Muto (RIKEN), Dr. Chih-Hsing Ho (Academia Sinica), Prof. Won Bok Lee (Ewha Womens University), Dr. Tony De Fougerolles (Evox Therapeutics), Dr. Hiroshi Ohno (RIKEN), Prof. Samantha Gruenheid (McGill), Prof. Kazuyo Moro (RIKEN), Dr. Anavaj Sakuntabhai (Institut Pasteur), Dr. Etienne Simon-Loriere (Institut Pasteur Cambodia), Dr. Tineke Cantaert (Institut Pasteur), Dr. Myrielle Dupont-Rouzeyrol (Institut Pasteur Nouvelle-Calédonie), and Dr. Ponpan Matangkasombut (Mahidol University) presented their research and findings in their respective fields. Specific topics included micro-level immunological studies targeting obesity, Parkinson’s diseases, and ulcerative colitis, to macro-level research involving the utilization of genetic data, regulations, and risk assessments for infectious diseases. Regarding infectious diseases, presentations covered topics such as the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and future risks, the risk of dengue fever, and research efforts toward the development of therapeutics. The importance of pursuing global health was also emphasized.

The Symposium was followed by a three-day workshop held at Kyoto Academia Forum in Marunouchi during April 11-13th, 2024.

For more information about the Symposium and Workshop, please see here: https://www.tokyo-symposium.com/