Kyoto: H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), visited yesterday the Centre for Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University in Japan.
During the visit, Sheikha Moza met Dr Shinya Yamanaka, Director of CiRA and Professor at Kyoto University. Dr Yamanaka is also a 2012 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine.
Dr Yamanaka gave an overview of CiRA and a talk on cell therapy for spinal cord injury. They discussed research collaboration and scientist exchange opportunities between Qatar Foundation R&D and CiRA. The visit concluded with a lab tour.
Speaking of the synergies between the institutes, Sheikha Moza said: “Innovation is key to all that we do at Qatar Foundation. Last year, we launched the World Innovation Summit for Health, known as WISH, which is a global initiative aiming to promote innovation in the delivery of healthcare around the world. It was there that we announced the ‘Qatar Genome’ project, which is a roadmap for our journey towards personalised medicine.”
She was accompanied by Faisal Alsuwaidi, President of QF Research and Development (R&D), and a delegation from the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), headed by the Executive Director Dr Hilal Lashuel.
In another event Sheikha Moza was welcomed by the Governor of Kyoto Keiji Yamada, to the Kyoto State Guest House in Japan.
Sheikha Moza thanked the governor, saying that the friendship between Qatar and Japan is “based on mutual respect and trust,” adding: “Our partnership can be symbolised by the Qatari-Japanese Friendship Fund. The Fund was established by the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in the wake of the March 2011 devastating earthquake and tsunami as an expression of our deep empathy.
“Today, Qatar is pleased that this Fund has supported thousands of victims across the most affected areas through a range of sustainable projects in education, health care and fisheries. We hope that its impact will continue to help many more in their journeys to recovery,” Sheikha Moza said.
“I am confident that the discussions the Qatar Foundation has held this week with Japanese institutes will launch the next phase in our relationship. A phase that will result in collaborations in a wide range of innovative research and technology fields that will be of tremendous benefit to both our countries,” she said.
While at the Kyoto State Guest House, she witnessed a Japanese tea ceremony. She also watched ‘Noh’ a style of classical Japanese musical drama that dates back to the 13th century.