Welcome Message

It is a great honor for me to serve as President for the 44th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Toxicology. Thinking back, I recall that during the latter half of the decade of the 2000s, I joined the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, the Japanese Biochemical Society, and the Japanese Society for Hygiene as well as our own Society of Toxicology, where I served variously as councilor and director. In 2012, Professor Akira Naganuma of the graduate school at Tohoku University was President of that year’s meeting. The Sixth International Congress of the Asian Society of Toxicology (ASIATOX VI) was also held in Sendai at the same time, where I acted as Secretary-General. I later was honored to serve as ASIATOX treasurer and starting in 2015 as councilor, providing a bridge between our organization and related Asian scientific societies. I have also chaired the Science and Publicity Committee of our society for three terms, and this past July I was named our society’s officer in charge of contact with ASIATOX. I believe that such a collection of experiences was pivotal in my receiving the honor of being selected as President this year.
The theme for the 44th Annual Meeting is “Transborders: Toxicology beyond Disciplinary Boundaries.” Customarily, toxicology has been viewed as a domain fusing together a variety of related but different fields in today’s highly interdisciplinary society, encompassing, for example, agriculture, basic medical sciences and clinical medicine, pharmaceutical science, safety assessment science, and many others. To support the further advancement of this domain, it is vital for the toxicology community to very quickly take in the latest information from research in related fields and new technologies. Roughly half of the members we selected for the symposium planning committee are scientists and scholars from disciplines which we have never dealt with before. In addition to hosting activities undertaken in our past meetings, such as seminars on food and health open to the general public, lifelong education lectures, special lectures, educational lectures, general lectures, poster sessions, and presentations by outstanding young scientists, we will also hold symposiums combining other disciplines with toxicology. By deepening the opportunities for toxicologists to interact for the first time with researchers from other fields, we sincerely hope that toxicological research will be spurred toward greater advances.
The Annual Meeting will be held Monday, July 10, through Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center, a magnificent facility that never fails to win praise from users. Built in a design focused on light, the center is easily accessible and stands in a location that is surrounded by water and greenery, and is rich in history and culture. The meeting room is adjoined by a spacious foyer as well as a cafeteria and tea room, with a variety of restaurants and relaxing open spaces nearby the center as well.
Have you had a chance to see the poster for this year’s meeting? Featured in the poster are the “Yokohama Three Towers,” historical structures nicknamed the King (Kanagawa Prefectural Government offices), the Queen (Yokohama Customs), and the Jack (Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall). Back in the old days, when Yokohama still had few large buildings near the bay, ships entering port would look for these symbolic landmarks. I had the poster designed by an old friend of mine who is an architect living there. The poster has a delightfully vintage look, and I think the three towers and their role in the opening up of Japan to the world time perfectly evoke the theme of our annual meeting – opening up the existing boundaries to toxicology.
When you are all done with a busy day at a scientific conference, it’s nice to have a chance to relax a bit, isn’t it? Yokohama offers eating and drinking in Chinatown and at a rich variety of other eating areas. We look forward to enjoyable evenings of friendship and interchange.
See you in this international city of Yokohama in July 2017!
Yoshito Kumagai
Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
熊谷 嘉人