Topics Visit by Japanese researchers to biobank and cohort studies in the Netherlands and UK

2019.3.29Topics

A delegation of 9 Japanese researchers exploring biobank and cohort study approaches to health challenges at different life stages, visited similar studies in the Netherlands and UK between the 25th February and 1st March 2019 to share information and discuss opportunities for international collaboration. The overall goal was to provide an opportunity for partnership building among researchers in this important field in Japan and those in the Netherlands and UK, and thereby eventually contribute to better prediction and prevention of health challenges at different life stages through expanded use of epidemiological cohorts and biobanks.

The delegation first visited the Lifelines study at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, before travelling to the UK to visit the ALSPAC study in Bristol. The week concluded with a meeting with representatives from the UK Biobank in London. During each visit, researchers from both sides introduced themselves and their work, and plenty of time was allocated for questions and open discussion. Discussion centred on how the various biobanks and cohorts were established and managed, best approaches for effective international and national cooperation among biobanks and cohort studies (and linkage to other databases), and how preventive interventions based on disease risk factors identified in biobanks and cohort studies can be best implemented. Shared research interests and healthcare objectives set in very different regulatory and cultural environments led to several days of very active dialogue.

The visit to the ALSPAC study in Bristol was held as an event of the Japan Season of Culture in the UK, an initiative to showcase Japan’s multi-faceted appeal, from its culture and art to innovation and cutting-edge technology in areas such as medicine, science and industry.

the Japan Season of Culture in the UK logo

AMED will continue to arrange similar events in the future as part of its remit to promote international research collaboration.

  • Photo 1: Research presentations at Lifelines, University of Groningen, NetherlandsResearch presentations at Lifelines, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Photo 2: Visit to the ALSPAC study, University of Bristol, UKVisit to the ALSPAC study, University of Bristol, UK

Last updated 2019.3.29