The University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Nagasaki University in Japan plan to cooperate more closely in the future. At the focus of the partnership funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be the joint development of a program of research into radiation epidemiology and radiation biology, the establishment of an exchange program for scientists and academics at the two universities, and, over the long term, the creation of a joint multicenter research project. There is one other similar project currently being promoted in Mainz; at present, there are only five such projects being implemented in Germany as a whole. It was with this in view that a Japanese delegation recently visited the University Medical Center in Mainz in order to discuss the future development of the joint scientific venture. During the visit, a cooperation agreement was drawn up that specifies the details of the collaboration between the two institutions.
According to the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch, this represents the first time that a formal accord has been made between the University Medical Center and a Japanese university. "Even within the academic arena, enhanced globalization and networking are becoming fundamental prerequisites for international research ventures. This agreement between Mainz and Nagasaki on a project that is additionally being sponsored by the BMBF represents major progress towards helping us better understand the health risks associated with exposure to radiation," explains Professor Rein hard Urban, Scientific Director of the Mainz University Medical Center.
The two direct partners to the agreement, the Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics (IMBEI) of the Mainz University Medical and the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute in Nagasaki, essentially plan to extend their collaboration in the fields of research and teaching by establishing closer contacts and developing and implementing joint projects. This is to be achieved, inter alia, by means of an exchange program for academics and students, the implementation of research projects, regular workshops and symposia, and the transfer of scientific information and materials.
The University Medical Center Mainz is already involved in several partnership projects with international universities that enable students and academics to exchange ideas and experience. The experience of living and working at another university tends to enhance awareness of the importance of supra regional collaboration, which is of major relevance when a future academic or clinical career is being planned. In addition, projects of this kind promote mutual understanding and appreciation of other ways of understanding and approaching problems, and help breakdown prejudices against other cultures and peoples.