Doshisha Week 2020 “COVID-19 Research: Challenges and Achievements for the Society” was held online

March 29, 2021

Doshisha University held “Doshisha Week 2020” on the 4th and 5th March, 2021, which should have been held last November at the University of Tübingen (UT) as the second Doshisha Week, but was compelled to be held online because of the pandemic of COVID-19. Three sessions were held on the theme of “COVID-19 Research: Challenges and Achievements for the Society”, and researchers from both universities lectured and discussed on three subjects selected from each research area composing the “Doshisha COVID-19 Research Project”, which Doshisha University launched in July, 2020.

The session titled “Cognitive and Immunological Impact of COVID-19” was held on the first day. Masaya Ikegawa and Kiyotaka Nishikawa, Professors at the Faculty of Life and Medical Sciences, Hiroyuki Manabe, Associate Professor at the Organization for Research Initiatives and Development, Prof. Dr. Olaf Riess and Dr. Yogesh Singh, both from the UT, lectured on their research achievements. There were fruitful discussions on issues related to anti-virus strategy, effects of COVID-19 on the central nervous system and the immune system, and the latest analysis technology, which are expected to lead to future research cooperation.

The second day began with the session titled “Science Communication”, and Noriko Noguchi, Professor at the Faculty of Life and Medical Sciences, and Prof. Dr. Olaf Kramer from the UT gave their lectures. In the discussion, joined by Riko Muranaka, medical journalist and lecturer at Kyoto University, and Yoshihiko Wada, Director of Doshisha EU Campus Office, they discussed some topics such as importance to convey information easy to understand about technology and medicine to the society; difference between countries of networking system between scientists and government; and human resources development of science communicators.

Following was the session titled “Campus Internationalization”, and Reiko Yamada, Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies, William Robert Stevenson III, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies, Prof. Dr. Monique Scheer, Vice President of UT, and Dr. Christine Rubas, from the International Office of the UT, gave their lectures. After the lectures, they discussed some topics such as satisfaction with online learning as an alternative to educational program with studying abroad and international travelling, and problems regarding international joint research under the current circumstances around COVID-19 pandemic.

With approximately 80 participants, “Doshisha Week 2020” became fruitful research exchanging symposia which will lead future exchange of researchers between the both universities.