Death-Oriented Research Symposium: The next-generation of academic research for protecting life

In response to the Death-Oriented Research Plan announced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2014, the Graduate School of Medicine has implemented an education program to train researchers in this field that investigates causes of death. To mark the 5th year of the program, the School held a symposium on May 26, 2019, in Osaka on the future of death-oriented research including the effects of changes in societies.

In the first half of the symposium, Prof. Yasushi Sakata (Cardiovascular Medicine) gave a clinical perspective about sudden cardiac death, including prevention and treatment. Research in the field, he explained, has advanced through genetic analysis and clinical data, clarifying different conditions of the disease. Following him was Prof. Hiroki Ueda of Tokyo University, who described a technology developed in his lab that makes the organs of the body transparent and how this technology can be applied to cause of death investigation. The last speaker was Prof. Hiroshi Matsumoto (Legal Medicine), who remarked this project for 5 years, especially developing human recourse, summarized some molecular mechanisms of death, and indicated its future plan.

The second half had a panel discussion that focused on how to better protect life, a topic not directly considered in the 2014 MEXT plan. Panelists included representatives from the Japanese Cabinet Office, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and MEXT as well as from the Japanese Circulation Society, Japanese Pediatric Society, and Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, three societies that have recently made cause of death investigation a priority in their missions. In addition, members of the Japanese Society of Public Health joined the panel to add comment about prevention. Discussion included how each organization deals with death and how investigating death can protect life in the future.



Opening statement: Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine President Eiichi Morii


【Lectures】                                              Chair: Prof.Yukio Kawahara   

「Status and issues in sudden cardiac death research」Prof. Yasushi Sakata,

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine


「Seeing the whole body as transparent: an application to death-oriented research」Prof. Hiroki Ueda

Department of Systems Pharmacology, The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine


「Project report on “Death-oriented research, past and future” 」Prof. Hiroshi Matsumoto

Departoment of Legal Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine


【Panel discussion】

「Protecting life in the future」 Chairs: Prof. Iso Hirayasu and Prof. Hiroshi Matsumoto


Cabinet Office Promotion Office for Death-Oriented Research, Shigenori Takeguchi

MWLW Director of Medical Affairs, Takeshi Sasaki, MD

MEXT Medical Education Division Planning Office, Hiroto Araki, MD

Japanese Circulation Society, Okayama University, Prof. Hiroshi Ito

Japanese Pediatric Society, Osaka University, Prof. Keichi Ohzono

Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osaka University, Prof. Tadashi Kimura


Closing Statement: Osaka University Hospital President Tadashi Kimura