NAGASAKI UNIVERSITY GLOBAL COE PROGRAM - Global Strategic Center for Radiation Health Risk Control
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Reports on Overseas' Conferences and Meetings
Report on the International Conference
on Biomedical and Environmental Sciences & Technology

Keiji Suzuki, Department of Molecular Medicine

An International Congress of Biomedical and Environmental Science and Technology, icBEST2010 was held in Beijing International Conference Center between May 9th and 12th, 2010. The conference was organized by Chinese Society of Toxicology very two years. This was the fourth meeting, whose theme was DNA repair and Cancer Intervention. More than 180 attendants including 40 foreign attendees came together and discussed important issues related to basic DNA repair research and translational research. There were three key note lectures and 12 plenary sessions, and more than 90% of speakers were Chinese scientists living in US or Chinese scientists born in US. Most of them are distinguished scientists who report their studies in highly qualified top journals.

There were variety of studies presented in the meeting, including studies about p53. The study of p53 in Japan is now very limited, but there are still many papers reported in international journals. Recent studies have predominantly focused on the function of the downstream effectors, especially those related to the energy metabolism. In the last AT workshop in April, there was a session discussing the functional relationship between ATM and energy metabolism. This time, more intensive discussion was taken place to understand the role of p53 in glucose metabolism. A couple of factors regulating glucose metabolism are transcriptionally regulated by p53. As energy regulation is tightly correlated with cell growth, p53 function plays an important role in this sense. However, in terms of radiation response, its role may not be important. as p53-regulated glucose metabolism can be regulated without radiation exposure. Further studies will define more precisely the role of p53 on radiation carcinogenesis.

The other topics discussed extensively was about the crosstalk between yin and yang regulations of cellular process. For example, p53-regulated pathways are the one example. It is well known that p53 activation negatively regulates cell cycle arrest through transactivation of cdk inhibitor, p21. However, at the same time, some recently identified factors transcriptionally regulated by p53 negatively regulated cell cycle arrest. Also, the factors regulated by ATM are positively involved in cell death, while the other ATM-dependent factors negatively regulate cell death. Such balance between positive and negative regulations may be quite important for fuzzy decision of cell fate, but it makes it quite obscure what is the decision factor for cell destiny. We need to think of such philosophical questions more in detail.

The conference was organized by Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine. What was my surprise is the number of young attendees. About two thirds are young students and young investigators from China. I was told that Chinese government is supporting those who will come into scientific field, but it is also true that Chinese scientists in US greatly help and support the Chinese students and young investigators in China. These could be the driving forth to attract more domestic students to the related field.

Just like in Japan, the increased cancer incidence is one of the top three public issues. Based upon increased interests to radiation therapy, a plenty of facilities related to radiation therapy is now under construction. Substantial numbers of such facilities are intended to use accelerated particles, including protons, carbons, so and so forth. One of the facilities introduced MIHAC, which is the copy of HIMAC facility in NIRA, Chiba. But, others are designed by German company or domestic company. In any case, increased usage of radiation as a tool for diagnosis as well as cancer therapy increases the chance of exposure the public to radiation. Thus, our Global COE program should play a role in educating the people involved in radiation medicine and in initiating collaborative studies between Nagasaki University and radiation-related institutes in China.
 International Radiation Health Sciences Research
  Atomic Bomb Disease Medicine Research
  Radiation Basic Life Sciences Research
  Workshop / Special Meeting
  Academic Exchange
  Reports on Overseas' Conferences and Meetings
  Cooperation with WHO
Publicity Activities
 Truth of radiology (in Japanese)
 Radiation Q&A (in Japanese)
  Introduction of Global Strategic Center for Radiation Health Risk Control
(in Japanese) [PDF 9MB]
  Visiting Report of Chelnobyl
Yasuyuki Taira, Graduate Student
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