About DEJIMA Infectious Disease Research Alliance (DIDA)
Nagasaki University has five faculties and institutions that vigorously promote research on infectious diseases: the Institute of Tropical Medicine, the National Research Center for the Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases (CCPID), the School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the University Hospital.
The BSL-4 facility construction was completed in FY2021. With the centers for Infectious Disease Research in Asia and Africa in Viet Nam and Kenya, a research environment for all infectious diseases prevalent worldwide has been established. However, the decentralization of research functions has been a problem because researchers are separated into different faculties and institutions. In April 2022, the DEJIMA Infectious Disease Research Alliance (DIDA) was established to enable the integrated operation of research resources on infectious diseases that had been dispersed throughout the university and to provide a framework for discovering and fostering talented human resources. We plan to strengthen and streamline a series of infectious disease research from basic research to clinical research and drug development, with the above five departments as the core and with the cooperation of non-medical faculties such as the Faculty of Information and Data Sciences, the Graduate School of Economics, and the Graduate School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences, which have related human resources. In the event of a contingency (emergency in the event of a pandemic or other outbreak), the DIDA will serve as a platform for pathogen analysis, clinical research, and the development of rapid therapeutic drugs and vaccines to provide a top-down emergency response.
The DIDA consists of three divisions: Basic Research Division, International Clinical Development Division, and Human Resource Development Division. In addition to the full-time faculty members of the DIDA, infectious disease researchers conducting their research in other faculties and institutions will participate as adjunct faculty members, allocating a portion of their effort (percentage of work given) to promote collaborative research in the DIDA. In addition, as an initiative to encourage the development of infectious disease research human resources not only at the University but also in Japan as a whole, we will also establish a “Researcher Mobility Program” that allows faculty members from other universities to conduct research at the DIDA (for about five years) while retaining their status at their original universities to which they were affiliated, and return there after the completion of the program. This system is also expected to improve the research capability of the University by creating a foundation to utilize the unique research resources on tropical medicine and emerging infectious diseases of the University on a nationwide basis over a long period and to foster the next generation of infectious disease researchers with broad academic perspectives.