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Canada, Japan Ink Partnership to Study Stem Cell Epigenetics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have struck a US$13.4 million partnership to jointly fund research focused on the epigenetics of stem cells, CIHR said.

Under the five-year collaboration, CIHR will provide up to C$6 million (US $6.1 million) and the JST has committed up to Y600 million (US$7.3 million). CIHR said the funding will support up to three research teams that will involve both Canadian and Japanese researchers, and that a funding opportunity announcement will be released in May.

"The goal of this joint research program is to advance novel biological knowledge in the epigenetics of stem cells," JST President Michiharu Nakamura said in a statement. "It is also expected that the collaborative research among Japanese and Canadian scientists will contribute to develop innovative treatment methodologies for clinical medicine."

The new program was established by CIHR's Canadian Epigenetics, Environment, and Health Research Consortium Signature Initiative, and JST's Strategic International Collaborative Research Program.

"We believe this partnership will pave the way to major breakthroughs in this field and the eventual development of new therapeutics to improve human health," CIHR President Alain Beaudet added.