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May 30, 2013

The Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell of Ethics Launched

CiRA launched a new research division - the Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell of Ethics - on April 1, 2013, thanks to generous contribution from the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education, based in Tokyo. 

The division, led by Dr. Misao Fujita, who took the post on May 1, is designed to pursue research on legal, ethical and social issues surrounding iPS cell technology and is expected to provide educational programs for researchers as well as the general public. 

``Having been developed in Japan,  iPS cell technology is one of the advanced bio-technologies'' said Fujita, a former assistant professor in medical ethics at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine. `` Towards clinical applications using iPS cells, I believe that Japanese researchers have responsibility to study relevant ethical, social and legal issues (ELSI) and disseminate research results globally. Taking advantage of my knowledge and expertise on medical ethics and  clinical psychology, I will work hard to make this division the core center of the ELSI research associated with iPS cell technology.''

Dr. Yoshimi Yashiro, a former Keio University associate professor, will work as another principal investigator at the division.  
``iPS cell technology has potential not only to innovate medicine but also to cause a paradigm shift that will change the views on `What is life?''' Yashiro said. ``I have been involved in research in the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell biology and have conducted studies on how science fiction works have described the acceptance of life sciences. Making use of my experiences, I would like to search for cooperation with the public and create a new value after the birth of iPS cell technology. ''

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