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JST Press Release

March 26, 2015
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP)
Joint Research Project in the field of “Infectious Diseases”

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) conducted the 3rd pilot joint call for proposals in collaboration with 10 organizations*1 from 9 countries within the framework of the e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP)*2, and with the approval of the e-ASIA Board, has agreed to commence support for 3 collaborative research project in the field of ‘Infectious Diseases’ in addition to the 1 collaborative research project which was announced in the JST Press Release of 19 February 2015.

The selected projects are as follows:

“An integrated research for the development of a scheme to control emerging vector-borne viral diseases in Asia” to be conducted jointly by: Ken Maeda, Professor, Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Yamaguchi University in Japan; Hideki Ebihara, Principal Investigator / Unit Chief, Molecular Virology and Host-Pathogen Interaction Unit, Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health in the United States; Srihadi Agungpriyono, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia; Worawut Rerkamnuaychoke, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Technology, Kasetsart University in Thailand; and Emmanuel T. Baltazar, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Central Mindanao University in the Philippines.

This collaborative research aims to conduct comprehensive surveillance of tick- and mosquito-borne infectious diseases in Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand to develop risk assessments of the outbreak potentials in Asia.

“Development of an innovative diagnostic system against liver fluke infection in Southeast Asian countries” to be conducted jointly by: Hisashi Narimatsu, Senior Invited Researcher and Professor, Glycomedicine Technology Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan; Sopit Wongkham, Professor, Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University in Thailand; and Bounthome Samountry, Professor, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Health Sciences in Lao P.D.R.

This collaborative research aims to develop and provide diagnostic systems to address bile duct cancer caused by liver fluke infection in more than ten million Thai and Lao patients, utilizing a platform for diagnostic markers developed based on Japan’s leading glycoscience technology.

“Antigenicity to humans and gene polymorphism of the new malaria vaccine candidate, TAM (Trans-amidase like molecule) of Asian malaria” to be conducted jointly by: Kenji Hirayama, Professor, Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN), Nagasaki University in Japan; Tin Maung Hlaing, Director, Medical Research Center in Myanmar; and Mario Jiz, Department Chair, Immunology Department, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in the Philippines.

This collaborative research aims to produce a malaria vaccine that is useful for the control of Asian malaria by combining Japanese research and development ability with field research capacity in the Philippines and Myanmar.

A total of 22 proposals were submitted in response to the joint call. Support of the Japanese team in the successful project will be transferred to and conducted by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)*3 following its establishment in April, 2015.

*1 The list of organizations participating in the joint call for proposals (excluding JST)
  • Ministry of Health (MOH), Cambodia
    MOH is the Cambodian Ministry which administers Health and Medical policies in Cambodia. It also administers activities conducted by hospitals, medical related resources, medical related industries and NGOs etc.
  • State Ministry of Research and Technology (RISTEK), Indonesia
    RISTEK (soon to be renamed), established in 1962, is the Indonesian Ministry whose functions include policy making and implementation in the field of research and technology; coordinating and synchronizing policy implementation in the field of research and technology; managing state property/assets under the Ministry’s responsibility; and promoting higher education in Indonesia.
  • Ministry of Health (MOH), Lao P.D.R.
    MOH is the Laotian Ministry which administers Health and Medical policies in Lao P.D.R. Directly under the authority of the MOH, there are research institutes, national hospitals, universities, schools of public health, and pharmaceutical plants.
  • Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Myanmar
    MOST, established in 1996, aims to promote Science and Technology toward economic growth in Myanmar. MOST mainly focuses on research in the fields of science and technology and human development, and also invests in cooperation for the protection of intellectual property, which is essential for stable industrial growth in Myanmar. MOST consists of the Myanmar Scientific and Technological Research Department, the Department of Technical and Vocation Education, the Department of Advanced Science Technology, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Technology Promotion and Coordination, and the Materials Science and Materials Engineering Research Department.
  • Health Research Council (HRC), New Zealand
    The HRC, New Zealand HRC, was established in 1990. The HRC is a Crown Entity that invests in a broad range of health research on issues important to New Zealand. The HRC is responsible to the Minister of Health, but has annual funding agreements with both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Science and Innovation. The HRC administers the e-Asia program on behalf of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as part of the agreement with the Minister of Science and Innovation.
    HRC’s homepage: http://www.hrc.govt.nz/
  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippines
    DOST supports, directs and coordinates all scientific and technological activities in the Philippines. DOST encourages greater private sector participation in research and development, and formulates policies, programs and projects to support national development towards achieving technological self-reliance for the Philippines.
    DOST’s homepage: http://www.dost.gov.ph/
  • National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand
    NSTDA was created by the Science and Technology Development Act of 1991 and officially commenced its operations in 1992. It was founded with the explicit aim to conduct, support, coordinate, and promote efforts in scientific and technological development between the public and the private sectors towards maximizing benefit for national development.
    NSTDA’s homepage: http://www.nstda.or.th/eng/
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the United States
    NIAID is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is one of 11 agencies that compose the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world.
    NIAID’s homepage: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI), the United States
    NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NCI, established in 1937, is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.
    NCI’s homepage: http://www.cancer.gov/
*2 The e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP)
Through the acceleration of science and technology research exchange and collaboration in the East Asian region, the e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP) aims to strengthen research and development capabilities towards resolution of shared challenges across the region, including those associated with environmental protection, natural disaster mitigation and prevention of infectious diseases.
As part of that objective, the e-ASIA JRP is intended to support collaborative research implemented among 3 or more of its member countries. Through the implementation of joint research among participating countries in agreed fields of research, it is the goal of the e-ASIA JRP to contribute to economic and human resource development, as well as the resolution of various challenges in the East Asian region.
URL: http://www.the-easia.org/jrp/
*3 Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), Japan
AMED is a research and development agency which will be established on April 1, 2015 on the basis of the Act on Promotion of Healthcare Policy (Provisional title) and the Act on the Independent Administrative Agency of Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (Provisional title), which were promulgated in May, 2014. In order to promote the Healthcare Policy, a Headquarters for Healthcare Policy was established in the Cabinet, and R&D related budget in the field of Health and Medicine, which is currently dispersed under the various ministries including MEXT, will be centralized to and promoted by AMED.


Appendix 1: e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP) Joint Research Project Selected for Funding

Appendix 2: Overview of this Joint Call for Proposals within the Framework of the e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP)


Hideo NAKAJIMA (Dr.)
Department of International Affairs, JST
Tel:+81-3-5214-7375 Fax:+81-3-5214-7379


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/