BTI Annouces new 5-year academic exchange agreement with Osaka University’s Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research

Building on the success of its academic exchange programs with the Nara Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Nara, Japan), BTI recently announced a new 5-year Academic Exchange Agreement with Osaka University’s Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (ISIR). The exchange program will include collaborative research, symposiums, and the exchange of researchers, including undergraduate and graduate students.

The ISIR has a strong international focus with an emphasis on basic and applied research related to energy, the environment, and the biological and molecular sciences. Interdisciplinary in nature, the institute includes researchers from the Departments of Microbiology, Material Sciences, Nanotechnology and Information Sciences and is part of collaboration network between Japanese national universities including the Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering at Kyushu University and the Chemical Resources Laboratory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

According  to BTI Director Mike Sadowsky “ISIR is a good partner for academic exchange for BTI. Both share a cross-disciplinary approach to basic and applied research.”

The collaboration began this summer when BTI hosted the first group of five senior researchers from ISIR in a 2-day program featuring formal presentations by BTI and ISIR. The visit also included series of breakout sessions were members of ISIR met individually with BTI members with similar research interests. According to Sadowsky, who launched the program after an exploratory visit to ISIR in 2012, the breakout sessions are extremely important in forging personal bonds between international researchers and in exploring potential areas for collaboration.

The symposium included presentations by BTI members Daniel Bond,
Jeff Gralnick, Igor Libourel, Romas Kazlauskas, Yiannis Kaznessis, Dan Knights, Mike Sadowsky, and Michael Travisano. ISIR presentors included:

Yashushi Yagi (ISIR director, Department of Intelligent Media), who gave and overview of ISIR’s mission and research and discussed his research Yagi focuses on computer vision and pattern recognition and advances in computer imaging using parallel high-frequency illumination.

Nobuo Kato (Department of Organic Fine Chemicals) spoke about his lab’s efforts to stabilize protein-protein interactions with the possibly of developing drug targeting technologies.

Takeharu Nagai (Department of Biomolecular Science and Engineering) presented his research on Nano-lanterns and luminescence indicators for bioimaging to help solve the problem of autofluorescence in the imaging of plant microbe interaction.

Kunihiko Nishino (Laboratory of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases) who presented work on multi-drug efflux pumps in Salmonella enterica and their relevance to antibiotic resistance.

Kazuhiko Nakatani (Department of Regulatory Bioorganic Chemistry) presented his work on base pair mismatching and the introduction of single nucleotide polymorphisms as a way to develop desirable phenotypes in plants.

BTI Assistant Director Tim Tripp commented, “The ISIR-BTI symposium demonstrated that the language of Life Sciences transcends national and regional culture. Uncovering biotechnology solutions to global problems will require the kind of international collaboration begun by BTI and ISIR.”