The projects will involve KFU's long-time partner RIKEN.
As we mentioned in the news earlier, KU Vice President Yoshio Otani came with a squad of academics and students. The latter will remain in Kazan for internships – as will their local counterparts who plan to arrive to Japan in January.
Head of Extreme Biology Lab Oleg Gusev commented on the scientific cooperation talks, “We discussed prospects of the KFU-KU-RIKEN triad pertaining to autoimmune disease studies. There is an ailment called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis – its specifics is that macrophages start attacking a patient’s own organism. Kanazawa has a cell model to reprogram normal macrophages into so-called ‘wild’ ones. At RIKEN we want to study genes of these wild-type macrophages, and at KFU, hopefully, to study the patients’ macrophages.”
Another topic was orphan diseases, including papilorenal syndrome, an autosomal dominant genetic disorder marked by hypoplasia of the kidney and colobomas of the optic nerve. HLA typing was also talked about. In this area, KFU is working with Rusfond to fill in National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Extreme Biology (KFU-RIKEN) Lab and Gene and Cell technology Lab are involved.
There is also a very promising project in creating a database of hereditary mutations influencing cancer predisposition.
And, finally, the Japanese guests showed interest in esophageal cancer studies. “The topic is very important and timely for Japan, and we are currently searching for hereditary mutations linked to predisposition. Japanese colleagues want to compare their data with ours. Maybe, we will also be able to conduct mirror tests of fluid biopsies to detect cancer-related mutations in the DNA which circulates in blood plasma,” said Dr. Gusev.
This and other matters will be discussed in January at Kanazawa. Also, a joint seminar will be held at Republican Clinical Cancer Center in Kazan in September 2018 as a part of the Year of Japan in Russia.