The 2nd RIKEN-McGill Symposium on “Immunology, Cancer, RNA & Genetics” was held February 19-20, 2018, at the RIKEN Yokohama Campus

February 19, 2018 NEWS

A comprehensive cooperative agreement was made in July 2010 between RIKEN and McGill University. To strengthen collaborative activity between the two organizations in Biology and Medicine, the first symposium “Excellence in Immunology & Genetics” was held in May 2017 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. There, the institutes decided to hold regular activities, such as these symposiums, to make their relationship strong and to deepen collaborations in areas of excellence. In addition, they hope to advance their agenda of using combined immunological and genetic approaches to address emerging questions in biology and medicine, as well as to define systems to fund and implement collaborations.

On the first day of the recent symposium, participants were welcomed by the local organizer, Dr. Ichiro Taniuchi, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS), followed by greetings from Dr. Shigeo Koyasu, Executive Director of RIKEN, and Luci Tremblay, Delegate General of Quebec in Tokyo, representing both institutes and countries. Overviews of the IMS and McGill organizations were presented by Dr. Tadashi Yamamoto, Director, and Mark Lathrop, Scientific Director, respectively. The rest of the day proceeded with several stimulating talks by researchers from both institutes in the areas of Infection and Immunity, and Cancer, followed by two young scientist presentations.

On the second day, sessions on RNA Biology and Human Genomics were held in the morning. In the afternoon, participants were invited to a general discussion for exchanging opinions about the future direction of the RIKEN-McGill collaboration, followed by topic-specific group discussions. The symposium successfully ended with closing remarks from both sides. It was agreed that the third symposium would be held sooner, most likely in the fall of 2018 in Montreal, to accelerate collaborations, and that efforts would be made to strengthen these collaborations through the exchange of students and researchers between the two institutes.