Japan-Thailand Collaboration Research on Infectious Diseases: Promotion and Hurdles
Shigeyuki Hamada*,**, Naokazu Takeda*,**, and Taroh Kinoshita*
*Japan-Thailand Collaboration Center, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
**Thailand-Japan Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections, Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Tiwanon Road, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
The Thailand-Japan Research Collaboration Center on Emerging and Re-emerging Infections (RCC-ERI) was established in 2005 by the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD), Osaka University, in collaboration with the National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Medical Sciences (DMSc), Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Thailand. This was initiated based on the recognition that, with today’s highly developed transportation networks including those between Japan and Thailand, infectious disease outbreak and transmission are no longer limited to a single country. Indeed, such diseases are likely to be transmitted immediately to a third country. This makes it essential to cooperate globally in exchanging information fast and often. A dozen Japanese researchers are working regularly at RCC-ERI, where they conduct joint research with Thai researchers on bacterial and viral infectious diseases prevailing in Thailand that could conceivably affect Japan. Examples of such diseases include cholera, meningitis with Streptococcus suis, AIDS, chikungunya fever, and dengue fever. Conducting long-term research in other countries often reveals gaps in perception due to differences in national laws and regulations, in rules and operating customs within research institutions, in economic and cultural backgrounds, and in values and ways of thinking among individual researchers. RCCERI is being operated as fine adjustments are made to achievemaximumproductivity and developing human resources. Some of the many researchers stationed at the Center faced unpredicted situations such as social chaos due to political instability or evacuation due to flooding and had to take emergency response measures. In this article, we cover aspects related to these experiences.
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