Chris Parry, who recently joined the School as a joint Professor in Clinical Tropical Medicine, based at Nagasaki University, reflects on a week of high-level academic partnership building. The School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health is a new venture at Nagasaki University supported by the government of Japan, with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as a key partner.
Academics from both institutions took part in a series of meetings, which opened with a joint Seminar on Global Health in Nagasaki on 28 October. A central highlight of the week was the Global Health Forum in Tokyo on 31 October. Here, Professor Peter Piot, Director of the School, together with Professor Shigeru Katamine, President of Nagasaki University (pictured above left) and Junichiro Koizumi, former Prime Minister of Japan, addressed more than 200 delegates from academia and industry.
Senior figures in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in Japan gave keynote presentations emphasising the importance of public private partnerships for developing new diagnostics, treatments, vaccines and other prevention measures for the control of communicable diseases in tropical and resource-limited areas. Sada Masashi, a famous singer/songwriter in Japan, discussed his popular song about the exploits of a young Japanese doctor from Nagasaki who volunteered to work as a surgeon in Kenya, which has since formed the basis of a novel by Mr Masashi and now being made into a feature film.
Professor Piot and colleagues also held a number of high-level discussions with Japanese officials about international efforts to control Ebola in West Africa. His keynote speech at the joint conference of the Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine and the Japanese Association for International Health was received with great interest and concern by Japanese physicians. Also at this conference, a symposium on Global Health was chaired by Professors Koya Ariyoshi and Masahiro Hashizume of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University. Professors John Edmunds, Simon Croft, John Cairns and Ian Roberts from the School spoke about the role and importance of rational drug design, mathematical modelling, clinical trials and health economics for translational research in global health.
The new Nagasaki University School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health will move into a purpose-designed five-storey building, currently under construction at the Medical School campus. The development is led by Koya Ariyoshi, Professor of Clinical Medicine (pictured left) and Kazuhiko Moji, Dean of Faculty of International Health Development, and the new School will offer taught courses and research opportunities for Japanese and international students, both on campus and in overseas field sites including Kenya, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Joint teaching activities with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are planned in the areas of epidemiology and statistics, health economics and clinical trials. The School’s East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene course will provide a model for the development of a teaching programme in clinical tropical medicine in East Asia.
The partnership has also been strengthened by two new joint appointments between Nagasaki University and the School: Sharon Cox in Human Nutrition and Epidemiology and Chris Parry. We will be based full-time in Nagasaki, participating in teaching and research, and are both looking forward to facilitating the growing collaboration between our two institutions.
Nagasaki has a long history of international engagement, and for nearly 300 years, was the only point of contact between Japan and the outside world. Following Japan’s rapid modernisation in the late 19th Century, the Nagasaki Medical School was the first to be established, and its Institute of Tropical Medicine is also the first in the country. School staff members have long-standing links with colleagues at Nagasaki University, and both Sir Brian Greenwood and Professor Piot are laureates of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize.
For more information about the partnership, please contact Sharon Cox: or Chris Parry: .