HIROSHIMA, JAPAN — Governor Phil Murphy, joined by Dr. Mitsuo Ochi, President of Hiroshima University, witnessed the signing of a historic Letter of Intent (LOI) between Rutgers University, the oldest, largest, and top-ranked public university in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, RWJBarnabas Health, the largest and most comprehensive academic health system in New Jersey, and Hiroshima University, a top public research university in Japan.
The LOI creates a joint effort to advance cancer research and education between New Jersey and Japan. An MOU between Rutgers University and Hiroshima University was also signed during the Choose New Jersey governor-led economic mission to East Asia.
“With today’s ceremony, we will establish a new, cross-continental partnership — one that will enable our top minds in New Jersey to engage and exchange ideas with researchers here in Hiroshima,” Murphy said. “In the years to come, I am confident that this partnership will lead to important breakthroughs, especially when it comes to caring for cancer patients in New Jersey, Japan, and around the world.”
“In a world where boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, it’s collaborations like these that remind us of the power of knowledge and the pursuit of innovation are worthy endeavors,” said U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, who has been a proponent of advancing educational linkages between Japan and the United States.
The LOI was signed Sunday, October 15, 2023, by Antonio M. Calcado, Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer, Rutgers University, Mark E. Manigan, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health, and Mitsu Ochi, M.D., Ph.D., President, Hiroshima University. By signing the LOI, Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences (RBHS), RWJBarnabas Health, and Hiroshima University’s Hospital Clinical Research Center agree to future collaboration on digestive tract cancer clinical trials. The agreement also creates an exchange between top researchers and students, fostering inquiry and innovation by offering access to new technologies, research methods, and opportunities for mutual advancement in New Jersey and Japan’s health sciences industries.
The agreement will allow RBHS, RWJBarnabas Health, and Hiroshima University researchers and undergraduate and graduate students to study, conduct, and present research across the respective institutions, creating new academic, business, and research and development opportunities in New Jersey and Japan.
“This historic collaboration between Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health with the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences of Hiroshima University, a leading institute in cancer research, among other areas, is part of a broader initiative to expand Rutgers Health’s research and clinical strengths globally,” said Brian Strom, chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. “This visionary partnership presents a strategic opportunity for both institutions to advance investigator-initiated research in areas including cancer, clinical trials, and epidemiology studies to further our missions of advancing innovative strategies in high-quality patient care, education, and research. We also look forward to exploring opportunities for further collaboration beyond research, such as sharing academic materials, organizing symposia, and developing an exchange program for students in the biomedical and health sciences.”
Since 2018, Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health have collaborated to create New Jersey’s largest academic health system, encompassing eight schools with more than 1,500 faculty and 450 clinical trials at any given time. RBHS is a top-ranked graduate program in New Jersey and delivers $500 million annually in research activities, standing as one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based centers for studying and improving human health and health care.
“RWJBarnabas Health is exceptionally proud to be a part of this incredible global academic collaboration,” said Mark E. Manigan, President and Chief Executive Officer for RWJBarnabas Health. “By signing this Letter of Intent, we are transcending traditional academic boundaries to foster and advance clinical research and education with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes internationally.”
Hiroshima University stands one of the top comprehensive research universities in Japan, covering a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Hiroshima University is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in diverse fields such as ‘Knotted Chiral Meta Matter’, ‘Genomics’, ‘Brain Sciences’, and ‘Nanodevices’. In the field of medicine, we are committed to advancing medical care and contributing to community medicine. The university achieved notable recognition,securing 10th in Japan in a 2021 ranking of universities based on the total number of clinical medical papers published in Q1 journals.
“Hiroshima University, in conjunction with the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit, joined a significant US-Japan collaboration known as UPWARDS. This initiative involves five Japanese and six American universities working together to boost research and development in the semiconductor field, thereby developing human resources.” Mitsuo Ochi, President of Hiroshima University expressed his enthusiasm for deepening cooperation between Japan and the United States, not just in semiconductors but also in medicine. He stated, “Following today’s agreements, I envision Hiroshima University actively participating in academic and researcher exchanges in the field of healthcare with Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health, making noteworthy contributions to healthcare both locally and beyond.”
“Research is at the heart of New Jersey’s standing as a leading global innovation hub,” said Wesley Mathews, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey. “Today, we take another step in strengthening our state’s innovation ecosystem with a leading Japanese research university.”