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Sep. 12, 2016

G7 health ministers visit Kobe campuses

On September 12, ministers participating in the G7 KOBE Health Ministers’ Meeting visited two RIKEN centers—the Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) and the Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS)—in Kobe.

At CDB, they listened to an introduction to RIKEN by Executive Director Yoichiro Matsumoto and a presentation regarding the center by Director Hiroshi Hamada. Following that, Project Leader Masayo Takahashi told them about her pioneering clinical work using iPS cells—for the first time ever clinically—to test their safety in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. The ministers were given the chance to take a look at actual human-derived iPC cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells thorough a microscope.

At AICS, they were given an introduction by Director Kimihiko Hirao regarding the institute, the K computer, and research achievements made using the supercomputer. They then went to see the actual computer from the visitor’s gallery, and had the chance to ask questions to Director Hirao along with Deputy Director Akira Ukawa and Fumiyoshi Shoji, head of the Operations and Computer Technologies Division which operates the K computer.

The G7 KOBE Health Ministers’ Meeting was held in Kobe from September 11 to 12, as a minister’s meeting related to the Ise-Shima Summit of G7 leaders, held in May. At the meeting, ministers in charge of health discussed pressing health problems facing the international community today, including strengthening of international measures to combat health crises and strengthening the response to drug resistance.

Image of Dr. Takahashi explaining to visitors CDB Project Leader Takahashi giving an explanation at CDB
Image of Dr. Hirao giving a presntation AICS Director Hirao explains the K computer