Lithuanian and Japanese scientists are united by an aspiration to increase the healthy and good quality lifetime of society
On the 25th of September, high level researchers from Lithuania and Japan discussed the newest achievements in life sciences. At the fifth Lithuania-Japan science symposium, the researchers focused on things that would improve the healthy and good quality lifetime of society, including the regeneration of biological tissues and possibilities for growing organs.
“The aging of society is a challenge for all countries in taking care of longer healthy and good quality lifetime, and it is the main topic that unites and drives Lithuanian and Japanese scientists towards possibilities and perspectives. This is not the first year that the researchers have been interested in this topic, and it is obvious that by cooperating, they will provide more and more answers to society in the future”, stated Prof. habil. Dr. Ričardas Rotomskis, Vice-Chairman of the Research Council of Lithuania and Chairman of the Committee of Natural and Technical Sciences.
Japan is a nation whose society can be characterized by its long lifetime. This country is one that faces challenges that appear due to having an aging society and a falling birth rate, obviously. Therefore, as the projects of Lithuanian and Japanese researchers demonstrate, the regeneration of tissues and growth of organs are some of the tools that can be used to solve this problem. Dr. Mitsuo Ochi, from Hiroshima University, one of the most famous orthopaedic surgeons in the world and Prof. Ryuichi Nishinakamura, from Kumamoto University, in working on kidney development, have presented their most recent works at the symposium. Presentations were given by Romaldas Mačiulaitis, an expert in clinical pharmacology of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Prof. Rimtautas Gudas, a sports trauma orthopaedic surgeon and Renata Šimkūnaitė-Rizgelienė, a professor at the Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine. Professor Makoto Asashima, from Teikyo University, who, together with a group of his researchers, identified the activin protein in 1990, has shared his experience.
Prof. Dr. Vilmantė Borutaite from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences stated that: “With an increasing lifetime and a falling birth rate, the main challenge is how to avoid chronic inflammatory diseases which may lead to obesity, second-degree diabetes, certain types of cancer or to neurodegenerative types of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Our aim is to help society to avoid chronic inflammatory diseases that require long-term nursing and are linked to early death, and to increase healthy and good quality lifetime”. Prof. V. Borutaite, in collaboration with Prof. Taisuke Tomita from the University of Tokyo, presented research covering Alzheimer’s disease at the symposium.
The symposium had already been held three times in Japan and it was the second time that it was held in Lithuania. Annual research meetings are aimed towards discussing which research topics could provide new possibilities for the researchers of both countries, and where the attention of life science researchers has been focussed on which areas that the cooperation of scientists from both countries would continue and strengthen.
The Japan-Lithuania Sciences Symposiums are organised by the Research Council of Lithuania in cooperation with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), together with the help of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to Japan. The first joint Lithuanian-Japanese researchers’ projects, financed by an agreement between the Research Council of Lithuania and JSPS, were started in 2015.