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Attachment 1

The Selected Projects for JST- MOST Research Cooperative Program
- FY2013 Strategic International Research Cooperative Program (SICP) -

Project Title Japanese Principal Investigator (PI) Position and Institution Abstract of Research Project
Israeli Principal Investigator
RNA-based novel approaches for discovery of ALS biomarker Shin Kwak Visiting Scientist,
Division of Clinical Biotechnology,Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine,
The University of Tokyo
This project aims to develop a clinically useful biomarker for sporadic ALS by demonstrating down-regulation of ADAR2 in the patientsí body fluids.
The Japanese side tests the validity of examining altered RNA editing of these RNAs as ALS biomarkers using model mice and patientís body fluids. The Israeli side invests for the novel RNA editing sites in the secreted RNAs.
It is expected that the collaboration will lead to accurate diagnosis and better management of the disease, and contribute to clinical trials of ALS therapies.
Erez Levanon Senior Lecturer,
Faculty of Life Sciences,
Bar-Ilan University
Pathogenic mechanism underlying neurodevelopmental disorder in schizophrenia Kozo Kaibuchi Professor,
Cell Pharmacology,
Nagoya University
This study aims to elucidate the pathogenic mechanism underlying the neurodevelopmental disorder in schizophrenia. In particular, to reveal how the dysfunction of several susceptibility genes for schizophrenia (e.g. NDE1, RAPGEF1 and ARHGAPs) contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders, Japanese team investigates the molecular and physiological functions of the three susceptibility genes during neurodevelopmental processes including neurogenesis, migration and synaptigenesis. Israel team clarifies the neurodevelopmental disorders of the susceptibility genes in vivo by using the genetically-engineered cells and animal models. Finally, both teams work together to totally understand a pathology of schizophrenia.
Orly Reiner Professor,
Molecular Genetics,
Weizmann Institute of Science
Late Life Depression: Molecular Basis and Neural Networks Shigeto Yamawaki Professor,
Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences,
Hiroshima University
The principal objective of this project is to gain an understanding of the neurobiological basis of late life depression (LLD), a serious and highly prevalent age-dependent psychiatric disorder.
The Japanese group will assess brain structure and function in individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls, and explore the effect of age and chronic stress. The Israeli group will employ mouse models that explore the interaction between age and exposure to chronic mild stress (CMS) or induction of white matter (WM) damage.
Understanding the pathophysiology of LLD could provide novel targets for drug development which are greatly needed. The data emerging from this project will also significantly advance understanding of normal brain aging which is of pivotal importance in studying other age dependent neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Bernard Lerer Professor,
Biological Psychiatry Laboratory,
Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center

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