August 6, 2021

iCeMS and China Medical University Hospital (CMUH) hold online meeting

On July 31, delegates from iCeMS and CMUH, Taichung, Taiwan held a joint meeting online organized by iCeMS Prof Suzuki and Jeff Chen, the Deputy Director of the iCeMS Taiwan Office, to discuss potential future collaborations. CMUH Deputy Superintendent, Dr Oscar Lee, who opened the meeting, said the purpose of the meeting was, “to increase mutual understanding” between the two organizations.

Dir Susumu Kitagawa introduced iCeMS and highlighted two pillars of research: understanding biochemical processes of the cell and creating functional molecules; and creating substances inspired by cellular functions and mechanisms. He talked briefly about his own research synthesizing new materials to control bioactive gas systems. Then he noted the importance of collaboration both throughout iCeMS and internationally through ongoing on-site laboratory projects. “The symposium provides a unique opportunity for iCeMS and CMUH to complement each other’s research areas and to launch new collaboration projects.”

Superintendent Dr Der-Yang Cho delivered greetings from CMUH. The hospital, which has 7000 inpatient beds and hosts over 100 professors, aims to become the world-leading Chinese and western medical center. Cho introduced the range of topics the CMUH doctors would be presenting, and regarding collaboration said, “maybe we will have the possibility to build an iCeMS laboratory in the future.”

Next, Prof Suzuki discussed the goals of the iCeMS Taiwan office before turning to his own research. Prof Mineko Kengaku, Prof Yuichi Taniguchi, Prof Ken-ichiro Kamei, Prof Namasivayam Ganesh Pandian, and Prof Shuhei Furukawa all presented their research at iCeMS. Topics covered included bio-screening techniques, cytoskeleton dynamics, 3-D genome analysis, “Body on a Chip” technology, epigenetic switches, and MOFs in a therapeutic context.

Following came presentations from CMUH. Dr Eric Y. Chuang (Dean, College of Biomedical Engineering), Dr Chin-Chi Kuo (Director, Big Data Center), Dr Sheng-Chi Chang (Deputy Director, Cell Therapy Center), Dr Shao-Chih Chui (Deputy Director, Translational Cell Therapy Center, Department of Medical Research), and Dr Yu-Fan Chen (Assistant Investigator, Center for Translational Genomics Research, Department of Medical Research) discussed topics including big data applications in medical research, cell therapy in cancer research, cell-based immunotherapy, and the role of macrophage in skeletal muscle regeneration.

After the presentations, Jeff Chen said, “we need partners in clinical research and CHMU is the best private hospital group in Taiwan with abundant resources in the clinical research area.” He thought that this would be a great opportunity to put the technologies and research results being developed at iCeMS into the hands of the people who could best implement them to help improve the quality of human life.

Both sides seemed keen to develop further collaborations. Dr Cho extended an official invitation to Kitagawa, Suzuki, and others to visit CMUH and continue discussions face-to-face.

Kitagawa said, “Our research focuses on fundamental research and we need the application. CMUH focuses on the living system and I’m sure that there is the potential for collaboration. “

Dr Lee said that the meeting was a very good beginning to the next stage of fostering collaboration. He looked forward to matchmaking between individual PI’s and CMUH Doctors as well as the possibilities of, “using AI and big data platform which can further support to turn fundamental research into commercially available drugs and devices to help more patients and save more lives.”

Suzuki closed the meeting agreeing that, “the research is very complimentary.” And added,” there can be a large gap between fundamental research and clinical application. Through working together, we can narrow that gap.“

Related link

iCeMS to establish two on-site laboratories with UCLA and Taiwan