The 3rd Symposium of the JSPS Core-to-Core Program in Bali, Indonesia: Health Risk Assessment for Adaptation to Climate Change
The 3rd Symposium of the JSPS Core-to-Core program was conducted at Swiss-Bel Resort, Bali, Indonesia last December 17, 2022. The symposium was organized by The University of Tokyo (IFI), Yamagata University, Ehime University, and Udayana University. The goal of the symposium was to discuss how climate change impacts key areas i.e. health, infectious disease prevention, nutrition, food security, and sustainability.
Prof. Kensuke Fukushi (The University of Tokyo, IFI) and Prof. lr. Linawati (Udayana University) delivered the welcome remarks followed by four main sessions: (1) climate change impact moderated by Prof. Kensuke Fukushi, (2) environment moderated by Prof. Toru Watanabe, (3) health, nutrition, and food moderated by Prof. Kozo Watanabe, and (4) early career and student: climate, environment & health, nutrition & food moderated by Tri Atmaja (Ph.D. student at the University of Tokyo).
The first three sessions of the symposium tackled the global issues concerning food production, food security, water quality and access, agriculture, mosquito vectors, and mosquito-borne diseases. These sessions highlighted the need to accelerate efforts that can help minimize the risks and threats of long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Both mitigation and adaptation should be considered when developing new initiatives to resolve these issues.
The final session focused on early career scientists and students who were given the opportunity to share their researches. One research aimed to use a remote sensing analysis for the assessment of coastal flood loss and damage linked to climate change whereas other researches were geared towards strengthening food system resilience, sustainable food consumption, and disease prevention. Atikah Fitria Muharommah and Jerica Reyes, Ph.D. students from MECOH lab, presented their works on the population genetic structure of Aedes aegypti as well as the use of Wolbachia and CRISPR-Cas 9 tool for understanding Dengue infection within the vector host.
The symposium served as an avenue for the scientific discussion of problems caused by climate change. Also, It was a way to establish collaboration between attending institutions and mobilize solutions for the attainment of a climate neutral environment.
Credits/Disclaimer: Some photos were obtained from the organizing committee and were only used for the purpose of documentation.
Dr. Kozo Watanabe and Jerica Reyes (Ph.D. student) visited the Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung Indonesia to discuss their long-standing collaboration. For the past years, the MECOH lab has conducted projects focusing on arthropod-borne diseases together with Dr. Lia Faridah, Dr. Savira Ekawardhani, and Dr. Nisa Fauziah. They discussed future research collaboration in the meeting and the prospect of establishing a satellite laboratory under Ehime University at the Universitas Padjadjaran.
Dr. Ruswana Anwar, Vice Dean for Academic, Student Affair, and Research in the Universitas Padjadjaran attended the meeting to exchange ideas regarding the satellite laboratory. One of the main goals of the satellite laboratory is to strengthen the international collaborative research between Ehime University and Universitas Padjadjaran. Both universities intend to collaborate on researches involving Dengue, Malaria, and Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR). The two universities plan to merge their research goals to resolve global issues on both health and the environment.
The meeting also included a tour of the research facilities in the Universitas Padjadjaran. Their facilities include a cell culture room, cytogenetics laboratory, immunology laboratory, next-generation sequencing, and a MoVi Labtainer which is a recent addition to handle COVID-19 samples.
To conclude the day, everyone enjoyed some of the local Indonesian food!
Students from Institut Teknologi Bandung and Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia stayed in MECOH lab for a month
Four students from two universities in Indonesia spent a month in the MECOH lab as interns. Mia and Naomi from Institut Teknologi Bandung and Sidah and Vita from Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia worked with some of the Ph.D. students in our lab to learn different molecular techniques. Here, they talked about their lab experience and learnings:
Mia: Thank you MECOH Lab, I learned a lot about the environment from the scientist's point of view, supported by complete lab equipment. This will be useful for me in the future, especially for the sanitation sector which I have been studying on so far. Thanks to sensei and the students for all the knowledge. In addition, many foreign students in MECOH Lab has made my cultural preferences wider.
Naomi: I always feel very grateful for having experience in MECOH Lab because finally I could learn many things about microbiology, DNA, and PCR. It’s so wonderful for meeting many people from different nations and could learn about trivial things about anything in this world, exchanging culture and experience will be always a thing I want to try by myself. I also want to thank to Kozo Sensei for giving me chance to join the lab and all the students that help me to learn. Hope MECOH Lab will be this joyful as the time goes by!
Sidah: MECOH Lab will always be one of my great experiences. I learned many things in the laboratory, like being more disciplined, careful, and patient. I'm so happy to learn about DNA and molecular since it's a new topic for me. I want to thank Kozo Sensei, who allowed me to join his team, and Dan, who guided me patiently and explained the research in the Lab. People in MECOH Lab have warm hearts. I love the way they interact and support each other. Everyone is so gentle, supportive and passionate about doing the research.
Vita: Firstly I came to Japan, I felt afraid because I felt constrained language when communicating in the Japanese language and also English. But, I can handle that because of support from Kozo Sensei and the others member in MECOH Lab, especially Ken and Ngure, who was very patient and explained well until I understood the research. This is my new experience studying DNA, and I am interested in this research. Thank you to the Japanese in MECOH laboratory, especially Shimada and Naoya, who accompany and provide insight into Matsuyama and Japan.