News / 20 October 2019

ARMI is committed to establishing and developing new partnerships to facilitate its world-leading, ground-breaking research. When different researchers with similar interests come together to share expertise, resources and personnel, exciting, new research is made possible. A great leap forward in the ARMI network occurred earlier this month with the 1st Monash University - Osaka University Joint Symposium on Advanced Biomedical Science.

Monash University ARMI delegates meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies at Osaka University, senior Osaka University colleagues and Consul-General David Lawson.
Monash University ARMI delegates meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies at Osaka University, senior Osaka University colleagues and Consul-General David Lawson.

Over recent years, Monash University has maintained a productive partnership with the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (OUGSM), one of Japan’s leading medical innovation and translational research institutions. ARMI utilised this opportunity to reach out to Osaka’s Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research to identify opportunities to work together on projects on both sides of the equator.

“From an ARMI perspective, this connection enables us to improve our research program. Collaborating with researchers who have complementary research interests in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology but with a more clinical and translational focus markedly improves the Institute's research output and performance,” shared Silvio Tiziani, Director of External Strategy and Planning for ARMI.

The first joint symposium took place at Osaka University on 7th October 2019 and brought together several researchers that may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet or interact. Delegates enjoyed a full day of fascinating talks presented by ARMI and Osaka University researchers, focusing on tissue engineering and organoids, live imaging, and cancer biology. On the second day, the Osaka University researchers invited ARMI delegates into their labs to further discuss how the research teams from the two institutes could help one another.

Delegates enjoy Professor Peter Currie's talk on muscle stem cells in regeneration and organ growth.
Delegates enjoy Professor Peter Currie's talk on muscle stem cells in regeneration and organ growth.

The ongoing importance of exchanging expertise, resources and personnel between the two universities was recognised by both the Australian and the Japanese Trade Consul-Generals. Both Mr David Lawson (Australian Consul-General in Osaka) and Mr Kazuyoshi Matsunaga (Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne) were enthusiastic to be a part of the symposium, with Mr Lawson delivering the opening address. Melbourne and Osaka are, in fact, sister cities, and the Monash-OUGSM partnership helps strengthen this relationship.

The symposium was a resounding success, with multiple potential new collaborations identified. “The next step is to facilitate these collaborations through co-funded projects and shared PhD students,” says Silvio Tiziani. “Co-supervising a student is a productive and practical way for researchers at different universities to work together on a shared project. The student receives supervision from two different people at two different universities and can often travel between the two universities to do part of their work which makes for quite a rich PhD program.”

Mr David Lawson, Australian Consul-General in Osaka, gives the opening address.
Mr David Lawson, Australian Consul-General in Osaka, gives the opening address.

Professor Akira Myoui, Director of the Medical Center for Translational Research at Osaka University, played a crucial role in setting up this partnership and symposium. “OUGSM is profoundly excited to be involved in this partnership because it does not wait for something to happen naturally, but actively creates new collaborations. These will no doubt lead to new, ground-breaking research findings that would not be possible when working in isolation. Our hope is that the findings generated in this joint research will be translated into new medical technologies through clinical research collaborations between the two countries.”

A second symposium is planned for next year, to be held at Monash University.