Tuesday, 16. October 2012 - 21:54

OIST Participates in BioJapan 2012

From October 10 through 12, OIST participated in BioJapan 2012 in Yokohama, a biotechnology business forum that has taken place since 1986. Each year, over 500 organizations take part in the event, and it was the second time for OIST to join small and large pharmaceutical companies, and research and academic institutions in Japan and overseas.

The Graduate University had a booth decorated with the OIST school color of vital red and logos. On the second day of the event, OIST held seminars by Prof. Ulf Skoglund and Prof. Hiroaki Kitano, attracting over 120 attendees. In his talk, “3D Visualization of Individual Protein Molecules for Functional Analysis,” Prof. Skoglund talked about cryo-electron tomography that allows three-dimensional imaging of volumes to about 2nm resolutions. He explained that the method is applicable to studies of cells and very large macromolecules. In his talk, “Systems Drug Design and Garuda Platform,” Prof. Kitano discussed about PhysioDesigner, a new software platform developed by a member in his unit at OIST to enable researchers to construct biological systems from hundreds or thousands of 'modules' and describe the interactions between them with mathematical equations. Mr. Masaki Hokama of the Okinawa Industry Promotion Public Corporation also gave a talk entitled "Growing Bioindustry and Institution in Okinawa." Together, the three speakers introduced the vision of an emerging R&D cluster on the island with the OIST Graduate University at the center.

The new feature of BioJapan this year was one-on-one networking, where representatives from two organizations went into a semi-closed space to introduce each other’s business for possible collaboration in the future. During the three-day event, OIST met with approximately 20 organizations, who had expressed interest in knowing OIST research. Ms. Miwako Nishimura of the OIST Technology Licensing Section said she heard candid opinions of counterparts, and that she will relay their opinions back to OIST researchers.

By Kaoru Natori

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