On March 3rd and 5th the Japan-UK/Sweden Science, Technology & Innovation Symposium was held in Stockholm and London, respectively.
The purpose of this symposium was to introduce global scale contributions originating from Japan regarding innovations in science and technology. For this purpose, we invited Japanese scientists that have brought forth results that are applicable for implementation for a sustainable society and lifestyle. In March, 2013, we invited Dr. Akihiro Yoshino of Asahi-kasei and held the first Japan-UK/Sweden Science, Technology & Innovation Symposium in London, Stockholm and Gothenburg. This marks our 2nd symposium. This time, we invited Professor Hiroaki Suga (University of Tokyo, Co-founder of PeptiDream Inc.) who has received much praise for his development of innovative and practical technologies regarding various diseases and their treatments to give a presentation regarding "Pseudo-Natural Product Synthesis and Drug Applications". Professor Suga introduced his drug discovery methodology, "RaPID" (Random Peptide Integrated Discovery) screening, which is able to screen high affinity molecules against drug targets out a library of over 1012 unique cyclic peptides bearing non-natural amino acids. In addition, he described the catalytic RNA "Flexizyme", which he developed, that is used for aminoacylating tRNAs with a wide variety of non-natural amino acids which makes it possible to produce the unique peptide libraries for RaPID screening.
The Japan-Sweden Science, Technology & Innovation Symposium 2014 in Sweden was held on March 3rd (Monday) at the Royal Academy of Engineering Science (IVA) conference center. This symposium was sponsored by IVA and JSPS, moreover, with support from the Chemical Society of Japan, the Embassy of Japan in Sweden, the Japan Sweden society and PeptiDream Inc. Following the lecture of Professor Hiroaki Suga, Professor Gunnar von Heijine gave a lecture followed by a panel discussion regarding "The potential of innovative chemistry to strengthen drug discovery and what Sweden and Japan can learn from each other." Nilsson O. Björn, president of the academy, and Seiji Morimoto, embassy of Japan, were involved in the discussion as well. About 70 people were participated enthusiastically in this symposium.
The Japan-UK Science, Technology & Innovation Symposium 2014 in London was held on March 5th (Wednesday), from 15:00 at the ballroom of the Embassy of Japan in UK sponsored by the Chemical Society of Japan, the Embassy of Japan in UK and PeptiDream Inc., with support from the Royal Academy of Chemistry of UK. About 40 people participated in this year's symposium. Following the lecture of Professor Suga, Professor Christopher Joseph Schofield gave a lecture regarding the role of oxygenases in the regulation of protein biosynthesis. Keiichi Hayashi of the Embassy in Japan then presented his message that they would like to be a hub for the introduction of Japanese science and technology in the UK. Naoki Ito and Executive Director Robert Parker of RSC also attended the reception as well as the lectures and participants were able to engage in pleasant conversations.
Influenced by the success of last year's symposium in March, several other symposiums regarding topics outside of chemistry were held. With contributions from the Chemical Society of Japan, we will continue to hold our symposiums and deepen our cultural exchange in regards to science, technology and innovation.
Professor Suga discussing with Mr. Nilsson O. Björn, president of the academy, and Mr. Seiji Morimoto, embassy of Japan
Professor Suga and Professor Gunnar von Heijne
Professor Suga and Professor Christopher Joseph Schofield
Professor Suga, Mr. Keiichi Hayashi of the Embassy in Japan and Mr. Kawashima, executive director of CSJ