Integrative understanding of molecular and cellular bases for robustness of living organisms

Project Gist

Promotion of Research Exchanges and Collaborations in Life Science with Swiss Universities


Switzerland, Research Exchange, ETH, Zurich University

Background and Purpose

The most famous scientist who was educated in Switzerland is Albert Einstein. W.C. Röntgen is also from ETH. Although Switzerland is famous for researches in physics, mathematics and engineering science, it also keeps high level of researches in medical and life sciences. In order to promote research exchanges between Swiss Universities and Kyoto University, the joint symposium was held in 2013 for the first time. In this project, we will have the joint symposium in life science again so as to promote research exchanges and explore possible collaborations in this area between both the universities.

Project Achievements

Two Symposiums were held in 2016 by the support of SPIRITS: Swiss-Kyoto Joint Symposium on Life Science and the Symposium held in the 68th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Cell Biology. Supports of young researchers’ short term visits to Swiss Universities in 2015 and these symposium contributed to promotion of research exchanges and research network formation in the field of life science between Swiss and Kyoto Universities. These events were planned and  executed by 4 women scientists and one URA member, who could have a good opportunity to organize an international meeting.As a result, we succeeded to have a symposium with active discussions and networking in a informal atmosphere.

Future Prospects

We will continue research exchange and collaborative studies with Swiss researchers. However, I have realized that most of active PIs of ETH and University of Zurich are invited from all over Europe, mainly from Germany, and on the contrary, many excellent researchers who studied in ETH or University of Zurich leave Switzerland to get research positions in other countries of Europe, mainly those in Germany. Both Switzerland and Japan are outside of EU, and researchers of these three countries are economically and politically independent among each other. Therefore, I propose that we should try to organize a research network(s) among Swiss and German researchers and us, for example, Universities of Heidelberg, ETH/Zurich, and Kyoto, so that all three can gain the greatest benefit among each other.


The Poster of Swiss-Kyoto Joint Symposium on Life Science
The Poster of Swiss-Kyoto Joint Symposium on Life Science
Speakers and Participants of the Symposium
Speakers and Participants of the Symposium
Visit to ETH in 2015, Lab of Prof. Sabine Werner, the organizer of former Swiss-Kyoto Joint Symposium on Life Science held in 2013.
Visit to ETH in 2015, Lab of Prof. Sabine Werner, the organizer of former Swiss-Kyoto Joint Symposium on Life Science held in 2013.

Principal Investigator


・Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences
・Developmental biologist. She graduated Kyoto University, Graduate School of Medicine, and studied molecular biology in University of Zürich (supervised by Prof. Charles Weissmann). After working as a postdoc (JSPS) in Cancer Inst., Tokyo, a section chief in Nat. Center Neurol. Psychiatry, and a PI in Tokyo Metropolitan Inst. Med. Sci., she came back to Kyoto University. Her research has mainly focused on regulatory roles of metalloproteases in development and regeneration. She also investigates mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy. Recently, her group launched zebrafish to the International Space Station in order to elucidate mechanisms of muscle atrophy caused by microgravity.