Welcome Message

Toshifumi Hibi

The first JSGE international topic conference will be held this year in Kamakura from Saturday, September 25th to Sunday, September 26th, sponsored by JSGE as a part of the Japanese digestive disease week 2010. The main theme of the 1st conference is “Stem cells in digestive organs”, which the international committee of JSGE has chosen as the course directors. Since Canadian scientists, Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till, identified and described transplantable “stem cells” in the 1960s, there have been many dreams and disappointments in the stem cell research and/or organ regeneration research. Now, more than 200 thousands of publications are identified by searching the key word “stem cell” in the PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed). In the field of the research in digestive organ diseases, investigations of the mechanisms of regulation or dysregulation of the stem cell function shouldn’t be disregard. These include most of the inflammatory diseases, dysregulation of regenerative process, development of cancer, and cancer stem cell targeting therapy. Thus, I hope this conference will be meaningful for all participants, and I believe it provides with many clues to develop future directions in digestive organ disease research.

This conference contains eight oral sessions, three sessions of GI-tract, three sessions of Liver, and two sessions of pancreas. Each oral session is composed of two or three presentations, in which one or two speakers are from Japan and other speakers are invited from abroad. Then, each session is designated to be discussed between Japanese investigators and overseas investigators. I hope the discussion becomes enriched and each session is attractive and valuable for all attendee. For this purpose, most of the invited speakers are young but the first class investigators who are working in front-line of the stem cell research in digestive organs. I thank every speakers and chair-persons for agreeing to join this meeting, and I believe it provides an opportunity to deepen international friendship.

I wish to express great appreciation to Prof. Kentaro Sugano, the president of the JSGE, for his kind consideration and great help for this international topic conference. I also want to extend my gratitude to all members of the international committee of JSGE for the collaborative advisement and the cooperative activities.

Kamakura is one of Japan’s most captivating venues for sightseeing. Many historical constructions and statues have a history of more than 800 years. Landscape along the coastline is well worth watching. I hope all participants will enjoy Kamakura’s beauty and culture and bring home a lot of good memories.

Toshifumi Hibi
Congress President of The 1st JSGE International Topic Conference
Keio University School of Medicine

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