Tsutomu Sawai

Assistant Professor
Field:Bioethics, Religious studies
Tsutomu Sawai, PhD
Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell of Ethics Center for iPS Cell Research and Application(CiRA)

Since 2012 when Professor Shinya Yamanaka was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, I have examined the ethical implications of human induced pluripotent stem cell research from the analytic philosophical approach. My most recent research focuses on the theoretical and empirical perspectives of some controversial bioethical issues such as hiPSC-derived gametes and human-animal interspecific embryo research using hiPSCs. I hope that my research will lead to better bioethics discussions in Japan.

Biography

2008 BA in International Cultural Studies, Tenri University
2010 MA in Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
2013 Recognised Student/Academic Visitor,
          Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics,
          Department of Philosophy, the University of Oxford
2014 Graduated from the Graduate School of
          Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
2014 Researcher, Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics,
          Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
2016 Kyoto University Ph.D. (Human and Environmental Studies)
2018 Assistant Professor, Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics,
          Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
2018 Visiting Scholar/Academic Visitor,
          Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics,
          Department of Philosophy, the University of Oxford
2019 Assistant Professor, Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics,
          Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
          Assistant Professor, Kyoto University Institute for
          the Advanced Study of Human Biology (concurrent position)

Research activities

Selected publications

  1. Crane, A.T., Shen, F.X., Brown, J.L., Cormack, W, Ruiz-Estevez, M., Voth, J.P., Sawai, T., Hatta, T., Fujita, M., and Low, W.C. The American public is ready to accept human-animal chimera research. Stem Cell Reports. 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.08.018.
  2. Akatsuka, K., Sasaki-Honda, M., and Sawai, T. Ethical framework for next-generation genome and epigenome editing. The American Journal of Bioethics. 2020; 20(8): 32-36; DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2020.1782524.
  3. Sawai, T., Minakawa, T., Pugh, J., Akatsuka, K., Yamashita, J.K., and Fujita, M. The moral status of human embryo‐like structures: potentiality matters?. EMBO Reports. 2020; DOI: 10.15252/embr.202050984.
  4. Sawai, T., Sakaguchi, H.,Thomas, E., Takahashi, J., and Fujita, M. The ethics of cerebral organoid research: Being conscious of consciousness. Stem Cell Reports 13(3): 440-447; DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.08.003.
  5. Sawai, T., Hatta, T., and Fujita, M. Japan significantly relaxes its human-animal chimeric embryo research regulations. Cell Stem Cell 24 (4): 513-514; DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.03.015.
  6. Sawai, T., Hatta, T., and Fujita, M. The Japanese generally accept human-animal chimeric embryo research but are concerned about human cells contributing to brain and gametes. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2017; DOI: 10.1002/sctm.17-0128.
  7. Sawai, T., Hatta, T., and Fujita, M. 2017. “Public attitudes in Japan towards human-animal chimeric embryo research using human induced pluripotent stem cells.” Regenerative Medicine, DOI: 10.2217/rme-2016-0171.
  8. Sawai, T, Fujita, M. The Problem of Dual Use in Relation to Decoded Neurofeedback. AJOB Neuroscience. 2016; 7(4): 253-254. DOI: 10.1080/21507740.2016.1244126.
  9. Sawai, T. Moral complicity in human iPS cell research: Implications for human iPS cell research in Japan (in Japanese). Future of Human Life, 1, 2016,3-44.
  10. Fujita, M., Hatta, T., Sawai, T., and Takahashi, J. Risk of tumorigenesis and patient hope. AJOB Neuroscience, 6 (1): 69-70. Doi: 10.1080/21507740.2014.991851.
  11. Sawai, T. The moral value of induced pluripotent stem cells: A Japanese bioethics perspective on human embryo research. Journal of Medical Ethics, 40, 2014, 766-769, doi:10.1136/medethics-2013-101838.