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Projects for promoting international joint research selected

2014-3-19(Wed)

As a measure for promoting its academic initiatives, Osaka University established the International Joint Research Promotion Program in 2013. In order to further enhance research quality and promote globalization of Osaka University, Osaka University supports advanced research between international researchers and Osaka University researchers. Currently, 15 projects are underway. [Projects selected last year, in 2013.]

In 2014, out of 35 projects submitted, a screening committee selected the 7 projects noted below. This program is a first step toward the establishment of international joint labs. A total of twenty-two programs as well as lectures featuring the invited international researcher will give added impetus to the globalization of education and research at Osaka University.

Joint Research 2014

Selected projects

 

Project leader Title, Organization Joint research organization
OSAKA Mariko
Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences California State University (USA)
Ersta Sköndal University College (Sweden)
Fordham University (USA)
Details
HIGAKI Tatsuya Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences Paris West University Nanterre La Défense (France) Details
KATOU Kazuto
Professor, Graduate School of Medicine University of Oxford (UK) Details
KAWATA Satoshi
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (Morocco) Details
SEKI Shu Professor, Graduate School of Engineering University of Washington (USA) Details
SUGITA Yoneyuki
Professor, Graduate School of Language and Culture
1. The Finnish Institute of International Relations (Finland)
2. George Mason University (USA)
3. Northwestern University (USA)
4. European Institute of Japanese Studies (Sweden)
Details
IKAWA Masahito Professor, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases Baylor College of Medicine (USA) Details

 

The details of the above-mentioned projects

Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Gerontology Studies Aiming to Develop A Care Welfare Service for Successful Aging in the Super-Aging Elderly
Project Leader Mariko OSAKA, Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences
Visiting Researcher Hideya Koshino, Professor, Department of Psychology, California State University
Victor Pestoff, Professor, Institute of Civil Society, Ersta Sköndal University College
Daniela Jopp, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Fordham University
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Facing a super-aging society, it is critical to main a healthy mind for elderly people. The present study aims to unveil changes in cognitive function, self-esteem as well as feeling of well-being associated with aging, and propose welfare services that make successful aging come true with empirical evidences. For the goal, researchers in the multiple-disciplinary fields stand in groups, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology, aging psychology, welfare policy studies, and social gerontology.

Establishing a Center for Academic Exchange in Human Sciences Between France and Japan: With a Focus in Philosophy, Social Pedagogy, and Clinical Psychology
Project Leader Tatsuya HIGAKI, Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences
Visiting Researcher Anne Sauvagnargues, Professeur, Université de Paris 10, Ouest Nanterre
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline The aim of this project is to establish a center for academic exchange in the field of Human Sciences between France and Japan, in particular the contemporary philosophy laboratories at the Osaka University Faculty of Human Sciences and Paris  University 10,  West Nanterre La Défense. Research will be conducted from a transdisciplinary standpoint, incorporating philosophy, social pedagogy, and clinical psychology; and the results we present will focus on the reorganization of the individual and community in a post-global age.

Framework for an collaborative medical research governance between researchers and research participants
Project Leader Kazuto KATO, Professor, Department of Biomedical Research and Public Policy, Graduate School of Medicine
Visiting Researcher Jane Kaye, Director, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX), University of Oxford
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline In the aging society of Japan, there are high expectations for medical research. To promote such research, it is necessary to collect many samples and data from patients and members of the general public, but there are arguments that traditional methods such as one time ethics review and informed consent are not working effectively. This project, by combining expertise and experiences in the UK and Japan, aims to establish a foundation for a new governance mechanism for medical research by making a model interface system for active and continuous communication between medical researchers and research participants with the aid of information and communication technology (ICT). 

Nano-functional Photonics: study of new nano optical/photonic functions originating from the interaction of photon and nano-structured materials 
Project Leader Satoshi KAWATA, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering
Visiting Researcher Sekkat Zouheir, Director, The Optics & Photonics Center, The Moroccan Foundation for Science Innovation and Research (MAScIR)
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Photonics, the successor to electronics in the 20th century, is now moving into the spotlight to lead science, industry, and society in the 21st century. By this research project, searched and studied are new nano optical/photonic functions originating from the interaction of photon and nano-structured materials. We, in the fields of physics, chemistry, biotechnology, electrotechnology, and devices jointly promote research and education on this new department crossing target: Nano-functional Photonics and contribute to development of the 8th division of the Institute for Academic Initiatives, Osaka University. Encouraged are intimate research discussions among young researchers of the Moroccan Institute/University and Osaka University, expansion of research/educational network, and development of young talented nano-photonics researchers.

Quest of unusual electronic functionality of organic semiconductors by essential evaluation on material properties
Project Leader Shu SEKI, Professor, Department of Chemistry,
Graduate School of Engineering
Visiting Researcher Samson A. Jenekhe, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Towards the realization of high performance photoelectric conversion system, we conduct the joint research with Prof. S. A. Jenekhe on the basis of our novel microwave conductivity measurement technique specially-designed for organic photovoltaics. Prof. S. A. Jenekhe’s group has investigated pi-conjugated polymers and their electronic devices, for example molecular wire and non-fullerene electron transporting molecules. However, expected properties are not always revealed, due to the complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Throughout this project, we intend to accelerate the cutting-edge research by the fruitful collaboration between the material chemists from the collaborators and physical chemists from our group, leading to an initiative of organic conductive materials development in Osaka University and University of Washington.

Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region: Multi-layered Analysis toward Formation of International Code of Conduct and Norm
Project Leader Yoneyuki SUGITA, Professor, Graduate School of Language and Culture
Visiting Researchers 1. Bart Gaens, Senior Research Fellow, Global Security Research Programme, The Finnish Institute of International Relations
2. John Paden, Clarence Robinson Professor of International Studies, Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
3. Laura Hein, Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University
4. Marie Söderberg, Director, European Institute of Japanese Studies
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline The purpose of this project is to examine our hypothesis: that it is necessary to formulate international behavioral norms in order to establish and to be able to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Our comprehensive research in these areas will try to test this hypothesis through analyzing three relevant areas, which include: the domestic, regional, and international factors, which may affect the formulation of international behavioral norms in the Asia-Pacific region. We expect to find durable international behavioral norms in this region by extracting the most important relationships, and also those with the highest relevance among the three affecting factors that are mentioned above. Our extensive research within these three areas will help us to present a balanced argument that will support the hypothesis that we are proposing.  

Infertililty related gene function analysis using knockout mice
Project Leader Masahito IKAWA, Professor, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases
Visiting Researcher Martin M. Matzuk, Professor, Department of Pathology & Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline We propose to define the reproductive functions of novel testis-specific secreted and transmembrane proteins using gene disruption strategies. In this proposal, we will bring together our expertise in bioinformatics and manipulation of the mouse genome to characterize these human infertility related genes. These fundamental studies will provide future tools for the discovery and development of drugs for both contraception and treatment of infertility.

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