09. November 2018

Alliance for Immunology between Bonn and Osaka Alliance for Immunology between Bonn and Osaka

Start with joint conference

The University of Bonn and the University of Osaka, Japan have signed a five-year cooperation agreement. The agreement, which will feature academic and research collaboration between the Excellence Cluster, ImmunoSensation and University of Osaka’s Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC), Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD) and Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences (FBS), was signed on the 5th of November 2018 in Bonn.

Inaugural meeting
Inaugural meeting - With a German-Japanese meeting the cooperation was initialized. © Photo: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn
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In their capacities as heads of their institutions, Prof. Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn, Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Speaker of ImmunoSensation and Prof. Shizuo Akira, Director IFReC, signed the agreement. Top renowned scientists and directors of institutions from Japan and Bonn, were among the invited guests who attended the signing ceremony.

Prof. Hoch lauded the cooperation as a new dawn for the two institutions and an opportunity to further understand the mechanism of the innate immunity. Addressing the scientists present at the occasion, the rector urged them to emulate Prof. Akira, who through his discovery and description of toll like receptor genes in mammals and their functions had influenced a generation of scientists and paved way for more research in the field.

To mark the beginning of their cooperation, IFReC and ImmunoSensation jointly organized a two days scientific conference, which combined the 10th international symposium of IFReC with the annually held Cluster Science Days. The two-day conference was held at the Biomedical Center (BMZ) at the University Hospital Bonn at Venusberg and featured talks by leading scientists from Japan and Bonn including a keynote lecture by Prof. Shizuo Akira.

Prof. Shizuo Akira is the Director of IFReC, which is an excellence center in Japan, that was selected by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology as one of the nation's elite centers in the World Premier International Research Centers Initiative (WPI). Since the WPI program was established in 2007, IFReC has engaged in high-level research that is expected to make it an internationally renowned immunology research center. IFReC is composed of 30 principal investigators from Japan and abroad, including two Gairdner Award winners, Prof. Shizuo Akira and Prof. Shimon Sakaguchi. Their scientific goal is to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the immune system by employing not only traditional immunology experiments, but also a variety of imaging and bioinformatics technologies. IFReC is committed to the realization of innovative accomplishments in immunology through international collaborations.

IFReC and ImmunoSensation have their core focus in immunology and are made up of award winning scientists in the discipline, with this agreement the institutions will work together to further understand the immune system. The presence of the two academic institutions, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases and Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences whose Director, Prof. Yoshiharu Matsuura and Dean, Prof. Tamotsu Yoshimori are party to the agreement, will enable the exchange of academic information, including exchange programs for postgraduates and professors.

ImmunoSensation is now entering a new round of funding in the latest DFG funded Excellence Strategy. The first round of funding of ImmunoSensation was marked with highly visible success, for example the translation of two newly developed candidate molecules into international clinical trials in immunoncology. ImmunoSensation2 now is the only immunology funded cluster in Germany, placing it Nr. 1 in immunology research in Germany.

Cooperation partners
Cooperation partners - (from left) Prof. Dr. Shizuo Akira, Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann und Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch. © Photo: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn
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