NIPS is an internationally recognized research institution and active international exchanges are performed. NIPS has the positions of foreign research staff, and world top-class researchers have engaged in research collaboration so far using this framework. Besides the research collaboration, visiting professors contribute to education of young researchers. In FY2014, NIPS started the Section of International Collaborative Research Project, which is run for 3 years by an adjunctive foreign professor as a Principal Investigator (P.I.). In FY2021, Professor Denis Le Bihan (a former Director of Neurospin, France) continued to run a lab as a P.I. In addition, using the frameworks such as JSPS postdoctoral fellowship, foreign researchers and graduate students conduct research at NIPS. Also, many foreign students enter Department of Physiological Sciences of SOKENDAI as graduate students and engage in research actively.
One of the main international exchange activities at NIPS is the annual international symposium. A NIPS professor serves as an organizer, and leading researchers from abroad and Japan are invited. In FY2021, the 51th NIPS International Symposium entitled “Frontiers in Epithelial Cell Biology” organized by Professor Mikio Furuse was held online (Dec 6-8, 2021) (Fig.1). There were 154 registrants (46 from abroad) in total, including 21 speakers (8 from abroad) and 32 poster presenters (7 from abroad). In addition, the international workshop, which is an international version of NIPS research meetings, was launched in FY2008, but it was not held in FY2021.
NIPS has an academic contract or a memorandum of understanding for academic interaction with foreign institutions as follows, and is actively conducting joint academic activities including collaborative researches. The institutions are Korea University, College of Medicine and Yonsei University, College of Medicine and Dentistry (Korea); Tübingen University, Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience (Germany); Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Thailand); University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine (Australia); Neurospin (France); and McGill University (Canada). In FY2021, we held a ceremony online to extend the term of the Memory of Understanding of academic cooperation with Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Fig. 2). The on-site international joint activity continues to be hindered by the spread of COVID-19. In this situation, NIPS held three online joint symposiums in FY2021 with Korea University and Yonsei University (Nov 16, 2021) (Fig. 3), McGill University (Jan 12-13, 2022) (Fig. 4), and Tübingen University and Pekin University (Mar 7, 10, 2022). In FY 2022, NIPS will watch the spread of COVID-19 carefully, and promote international activities further by various strategies including online meetings.
Besides these, many international research collaborations of high quality are performed at the individual researchers’ level, supported by the budget of NIPS as well as NINS and also research grant from outside.
The 51th NIPS international symposium
An online ceremony to extend the term of MOU with Chulalongkorn University
An online joint symposium with Korea University and Yonsei University
An online joint symposium with McGill University