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Opening address for Kyoto University-NUS International Symposium Regulation of Cell Fate and Cell Function Matrix Building at Biopolis, Singapore,   - Jan 27-29, 2005 -

Kazuo OIKE

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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for me to make the opening remarks for the 5th Kyoto University International Symposium. As president of Kyoto University, I am proud to have this opportunity to open this important occasion- the first to be held in Singapore in this series of symposiums.

In the course of the last 20 years, bioscience research has made explosive progress by using the concepts and techniques of molecular biology. Consequently, the 21st century will challenge our ability to elucidate higher systemic life processes as well as to apply new life science and technology to human welfare and for the protection of the global environment. In order to pursue these new life sciences, various fields of bioscience must interact beyond national borders to must play an important role. This new international cooperation can promote research, education, and industrial activities.

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Kyoto University, one of Japan's leading universities, has produced outstanding researchers in a wide variety of academic fields, including bioscience. To meet the challenges ahead, we will encourage researchers from many academic fields to explore new ideas, and to endeavor to make the 21st century one infused with hope. In line with these goals, the Graduate School of Biostudies was established in April 1999. The heads of over twenty laboratories scattered on our campus enthusiastically decided to cooperate in making a graduate school of bioscience. Their diverse backgrounds have contributed in yielding fruitful outcomes in the new Graduate School of Biostudies. Consequently, this school, together with the Institute for Virus Research, was awarded a grant from the 2lst Century Centre of Excellence Programs by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

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From the start of the 21st century, Kyoto University has sponsored an International Symposium once a year in foreign countries. These meetings focus on creative academic fields in order to develop up-to-date research. Our objective is not only to deepen the global understanding of Kyoto University's dynamic and state-of-the-art research, but also to increase the exchange of both research information and researchers between Kyoto University and outstanding institutions in foreign countries. It is my great pleasure to hold this joint international symposium with the National University of Singapore and Agency for Science, Technology and Research, A*STAR, Singapore. I have learned that the research of life science is advancing quickly in Singapore under a unique program subsidized by the Singapore government.

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Furthermore, I hope this symposium creates valuable opportunities for the participants from both Kyoto and Singapore to share subjects of mutual interest, enhance our collective knowledge, exchange and stimulate new ideas, initiate joint research activities, renew old friendships, and make new acquaintances.

Thank you for your attention.

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