The Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI; chairman: Dr. Makoto Yano), in collaboration with the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University, began international collaborative research on general populace and healthcare professionals using an antibody testing kit developed by the Pasteur Institute in France. A joint press conference was held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, prior to the start of the research.
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is on a conspicuous upward trend worldwide. In this situation, asymptomatic individuals (those with subclinical infection) who are able to continue to conduct economic activities hold an important key in understanding the route through which infection spreads. For this reason, RIETI, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University, have initiated international collaborative research on residents of Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture and healthcare professionals at Kyoto University Hospital using an antibody testing kit developed by the Pasteur Institute in France.
Since COVID-19 spreads from person to person, the way of thinking and behavior of each individual has a great influence on the spread of infection. In this study, therefore, we will attempt to understand the actual status of COVID-19 infection from two perspectives—medical and social science—by combining antibody testing and social scientific research on general populace and healthcare professionals. Simultaneous collection of medical and social science information will make it possible for the first time to interpret physical characteristics such as an individual's genetic background, behavioral patterns, thought processes, and socioeconomic environment as well as the complex interactions of these factors, which are associated with the spread of infection. This will be the world's first large-scale epidemiological study combining medical and social sciences using comprehensive human data, including data from antibody testing.
Through integrated analysis of medical and social science data to determine the ideas, actions and other characteristics of people that are most effective at preventing infection, we will not only explore how to live with COVID-19 going forward, but also how to think and act in the event of new infectious disease outbreaks in the future in order to reduce their spread and limit economic and social losses.
President, Kyoto University
Born in 1951 in Toyama Prefecture. Graduated from the School of Medicine, Kyoto University in 1975 and was a resident at Kyoto University the same year. After positions as a research associate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and associate professor at Jichi Medical University, he became a professor in the Department of Immunology and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, in 1992, and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, in 1993. After serving as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine from 2010, Executive Vice-President from 2014, and Provost from 2017, he was appointed President of Kyoto University in 2020. Doctor of Medicine (MD, PhD.)
After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1977 he received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester in 1981. He taught at number of universities, including Cornell University, Yokohama National University, Keio University and Kyoto University before joining RIETI as President and CRO in 2016. He was appointed Chairman of RIETI in 2020. He was also Chair of Institute of Economic Research at Kyoto University from 2010 to 2012, and President of the Japanese Economic Association from 2008 to 2009. His research interest includes dynamic economics, international economics, mathematical economics and law and economics.
Director, Center for Genomic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University / Director, Institut Pasteur-Kyoto University International Joint Research Unit
Born in Tokushima Prefecture in 1960. After graduating from the Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, he worked as an assistant professor at Kyoto University and as a head of research at the French National Center for Genotyping before becoming a professor in the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, in 2003. He has been Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, since 2008, the Scientific Coordinator of Institut Pasteur-Kyoto University International Joint Research Unit for Integrative Vaccinomics since 2016, and Director of the Kyoto-McGill International Collaborative Program in Genomic Medicine since 2018. His research interests include molecular biology, human genetics, and genomic medicine. Doctor of Medicine (PhD)