Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Stem Cell Symposium at the “Translational Research Center for Medical Innovation”.
Basic research in the field of differentiation, regulation and interaction of cells is essential for the development of new drugs and treatment methods particularly needed for previously untreatable severe diseases.
A great example of this is the work of Professor Honjo – president of the “Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe” – and Professor Allison from the University of Texas.
They investigated the specific interaction of cancer cells and cells of the immune system, thus creating the basis for a cancer therapy by inhibiting negative immune regulation.
In 2018 they were awarded the Nobel Prize.
We are very proud that Professor Honjo signed his name in our city’s Golden Book during his visit to Hamburg in July this year.
His US-colleague and co-winner of the award James Allison was quoted as saying, “I’m a basic scientist. I didn’t get into these studies to cure cancer, I wanted to understand how T cells work”.
However, when it comes to improving the diagnosis and treatment of disease in practice, knowledge from basic research needs to be translated into medical applications.
This requires a good network in the field of life sciences.
In Hamburg we have a strong network in this field: Universities, colleges, a university hospital, the Frauenhofer IME, the Leibniz facilities Heinrich-Pette-Institute and Bernhard-Nocht-Institute.
The scientific institutions are complemented by the Life Science North cluster - comprising around 500 companies from the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
These include world-famous German companies such as Eppendorf and Evotec.
However, we are pleased that other international companies such as Sysmex also have large production and development departments in the Hamburg metropolitan area.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
International cooperation is essential for progress and success in science, research and development. Hamburg and Kobe cooperate successfully in stem-cell research.
A team from the Frauenhofer IME, together with the “Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe”, have investigated the potential of stem cells in the field of rational drug design.
Today's conference looks at the perspectives of new technologies in stem cell research.
I would like to thank everybody who helped organize the symposium: the clusters KBIC and Life Science North, as well as the "Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe”, the Fraunhofer IME, JETRO Kobe and of course the city of Kobe.
I wish you all an interesting afternoon with many new insights.
Thank you very much.