New UK-Japan medical research collaboration

By | Uncategorized

A new agreement between the UK and Japan aims to promote international medical research collaboration, by combining world-class scientific expertise to help advance human health.

Image credit: Embassy of Japan, UK

On 1 February, the MRC and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Developmentopens in new window(AMED) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to advance a UK-Japan partnership in medical research and development.

The aim of the partnership is to promote research collaboration in areas of medical science that build on the strengths of both countries. The research fields identified as initial priorities for collaboration include regenerative medicine, dementia, antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease.

The Japan AMED supports integrated medical research and development, from basic research to practical applications, with the aim of achieving the world’s highest level of medical care and services, and to form a society in which people live long, healthy lives.

Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC, and Professor Makoto Suematsu, President of AMED, signed the agreement at the Japanese Embassy in London, as part of an opening ceremony for a new AMED European office, based in London.

Professor Sir John Savill said: “The opening of a Japan AMED office in London is an exciting development that will open up new opportunities for UK researchers to work with world-class scientists in Japan’s medical research community, with an initial focus on neuroscience, regenerative medicine, antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease. Our agreement with the Japan agency represents our strong commitment to international research collaboration, aiming to speed up the development of new treatments for diseases, leading to better health for all.”

Professor Makoto Suematsu said: “We are delighted to announce the establishment of the AMED London office, which will serve as a European base from which to build new, and further strengthen, links the Japanese medical and healthcare research communities have with partners in the region. Furthermore, it is our sincere hope that our Memorandum of Cooperation with the MRC – a welcome opportunity to work more closely with world-leading research expertise in the UK – will lead to rapid, real-world benefits in terms of new medical treatments, extended healthy lifespans and improved quality of life.”

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Prizes for collaborative regenerative medicine researchers

By | Engineered cell environment

The UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) has awarded special merit prizes to two postdoctoral researchers who have demonstrated outstanding work on leading creative new approaches to help members of the Platform work together effectively and accelerate discovery.


The UKRMP aims to address the key translational challenges of regenerative medicine – a branch of science that aims to repair or replace damaged and diseased human cells and tissues. It brings together academic expertise, innovation and knowledge with commercial and clinical end-users.

Central to the Platform are five interdisciplinary and complementary research Hubs that collectively provide a national resource to researchers by generating new tools, protocols and resources that can be utilised by other UK research groups in both academia and industry.

Dr Mads Bergholt of the Niche Hub at Imperial College London and Dr Michael Barrow from the Safety Hub at the University of Liverpool, have been awarded these prizes for embracing the collaborative nature of the Platform and proactively identifying opportunities to advance the work of all collaborators across the Platform. Their work includes some of the exceptional research that makes the UK a world leader in the field of regenerative medicine.

Dr Mads Bergholt has led work across UKRMP Hubs around the application of a technique used to understand more about the make-up of materials – Raman spectroscopy – in stem cell behaviour and within regenerative medicine.


Dr Mads Bergholt receives his UKRMP Special Merit Prize from Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC.


Dr Michael Barrow has facilitated research across UKRMP Hubs on tracking the delivery of stem cells. Tracking the distribution and viability of stem cells after injection is important to check whether cells have reached their desired target organ or location in the body. Michael has led research involving synthesis of nanoparticles which can be tracked using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Dr Michael Barrow receives his UKRMP Special Merit Prize from Sir John Savill.

The UKRMP Hubs draw together the major players in UK regenerative medicine research in a dynamic relationship that is outward facing and open to new partnerships.

This week sees the inaugural UK Regenerative Medicine Conference open its doors to leading scientists. Delivered by the Platform, in partnership with leading UK research councils and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the event runs from 20 to 21 September and will cover topics ranging from tissue regeneration to methods of cell and tissue replacement.

The Inaugural UK Regenerative Medicine Conference

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