Collaboration/cooperation with external institutions Memorandum of Cooperation signed with U.S. National Institutes of Health; updates on specific collaborative activities

AMED agreed to conclude a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a ceremony was held in the United States on January 11, 2016 (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) for AMED President Makoto Suematsu and NIH Director Francis S. Collins to sign the MOC. The NIH is one of the world's largest research institutes in the field of biology and medicine, and is also a funding agency. With both AMED and the NIH being funding agencies engaged in R&D from the basic to clinical stages, collaboration between the two had been awaited.

Capitalizing on the signing of the MOC, the two organizations are planning to organize collaborative research programs, joint seminars/symposia, and personnel exchanges, as well as data sharing of research accomplishments.

Following the conclusion of the MOC, the Japan-U.S. Workshop for Cancer Research was held on March 7-8, 2016 in Tokyo to discuss the possibilities of cooperation in cancer research.
AMED and the NIH also shared their data on symptoms and genes concerning specific rare and undiagnosed diseases, which resulted in clarification of disease mechanisms and greatly contributed to diagnosis of patients.

Furthermore, as part of their personnel exchange initiative, AMED personnel visited the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) over 10 days in November 2016 to share information and exchange views on similar programs run by the two organizations.

As part of the cooperative initiatives with the United States including the NIH, a meeting of health ministers from Japan, the United States and South Korea was held on September 19, 2016 in New York with the attendance of then-Vice President Joe Biden, who was promoting the Cancer Moonshot initiative to combat cancer. AMED President Suematsu participated in the meeting to introduce updates on research cooperation based on the AMED-NIH MOC, as well as activities related to SCRUM Japan, which is an outcome of a public-private sector collaboration in cancer drug discovery, and other topics.

Capitalizing on the AMED Washington D.C. Office that opened in November 2016, AMED will further explore possible cooperative initiatives with the NIH.

Last updated 04/05/17