Chairperson, the Board of Directors Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience
The Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience was established in October 1992 with the aim to promote glycoscience. It is an immense joy to see that it marks its 30th anniversary this year.
On this memorable occasion, I would like to express my profound gratitude to the Foundation's Directors, members of the Selection Committee, advisors, competent authorities and all those involved for the guidance and encouragement they have extended to the Foundation since its establishment. I would also like to thank all the researchers, research institutions and academic societies who have understood the aims of the Foundation and have worked together with us to promote glycoscience.
The aim of the Foundation is to contribute to the welfare of mankind through the promotion of glycoscience by providing research grants for original basic research projects by glycoscientists in Japan and overseas and by supporting the holding of academic conferences to advance exchanges among glycoscientists. In line with this objective, in the 30 years since its establishment, the Foundation has provided grants totaling approximately 2,225 million yen to 468 research projects in 30 countries. In addition, 396 grants totaling 105 million yen have been extended for the purpose of fostering national and international academic societies.
Each year, the Selection Committee scrutinizes and evaluates application documents sent from all over the world. As keeping fair and rigorous screening process requires very time-consuming effort, I renew my deepest appreciation here for the untiring work of the members of the Selection Committee.
In recent years, we have experienced the unprecedented event of a pandemic: since the spread of infection by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) broke out in December 2019, we have already spent three years in a coronavirus disaster. We have had to restrict our mobility, limit our daily activities and live under masks--the inconveniences that we could not have imagined before. Lockdowns were also imposed in countries and regions where the infection had expanded, and many research institutions and universities had to restrict entry, which made it difficult for them to advance their activities smoothly.
The struggle between mankind and infectious diseases has been going on since ancient times. It has been identified as one of the priority issues in the science and technology policy of Japan as well. Even with the development of new antibiotics and vaccines and improved sanitary conditions, the fight against infectious diseases such as new and mutated viruses will continue.
In recent years, it has been clarified that sugar chains function as receptors for various viruses and as intracellular signaling molecules during infection. For example, influenza viruses target and bind to sialic acid-containing sugar chain molecules on the host cell surface. It has also been clarified that sugar chains play a role in the functions of various other pathogens, such as the AIDS virus, herpes virus, mumps virus and coronaviruses. We believe that research to elucidate the mechanisms of these infections in the light of sugar chains may also lead to solutions to the problems of infectious diseases.
Our Foundation states in its founding objectives that "it is an urgent task to swiftly elucidate the roles of complex carbonhydrates in living organisms, which have complex and diverse sugar chain structures and functions, and to clarify their relationship with life phenomena". In the life science field, we believe that the promotion of basic science, which seeks to elucidate life science and explore what life is, forms the basis for numerous applied research projects. We also expect that the elucidation of basic science will lead to the creation of new medicines, diagnostics and medical materials.
As the only foundation specializing in funding in the field of glycoscience, we are committed to keep up with our efforts toward becoming a more useful foundation for the promotion of glycoscience and to contribute to the development of basic science world, however small steps they may seem to be.
Before closing, I sincerely ask all the people involved in the advancement of glycoscience to continue their support of our effort.
Greetings Ken Mizutani (Chairperson, the Board of Directors)
Message Kunihiko Suzuki (Board of Directors)
Message Tamao Endo (Board of Directors, Chairperson, Selection Committee)
Special Lecture Christina M. Woo
Invited Lecture Yoshihiro Kawaoka
Special Lecture Yasuhiro Kajihara
Invited Lecture Kenji Kadomatsu
Application guidelines for research grant
Grant awardees and titles (2018-2022)
List of Awardees (1993-2022)
Selected abstracts of the research grant projects (2017-2021)
List of the International Exchanges and Glycoscience Meetings
Outline of the Foundation
Past board members
Aim of the Foundation