With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, political polarization, economic upheaval, and other global 21st century challenges, how can we continue to strive for harmonious coexistence?
Minister, Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan in the United States of America
Serving in his current role since August 2018, Mr. Mukai oversees general affairs, including VIP visits between Japan and the United States, annual events at the Ambassador’s residence, and strengthening relations with states, governors, and Japanese American communities. An Arabic-speaking diplomat, he has held positions that include; Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Egypt; Director of the First and Second Middle East Divisions at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Japan in Iraq; Counsellor, Japan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations; and Principal Deputy Director of Japan US Security Treaty Division. He holds a B.A. in Law from Kyoto University and studied at the University of Michigan. Mr. Mukai is a chairperson of the Washington DC Kyodai alumni association since January 2019.
Dr. Tasuku Honjo
Deputy Director-General and Distinguished Professor, Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study / Director, Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology(CCII), Kyoto University (Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2018)
Dr. Honjo is known for his discovery of AID essential for class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation. He established the basic conceptual framework of class switch recombination. He discovered PD-1, a negative coreceptor at the effector phase of immune response and showed that PD-1 modulation contributes to treatments of tumor, viral infection, and autoimmunity. Dr. Honjo has received many awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. JMA supreme award of merit, Imperial Prize, Japan Academy Prize, Robert Koch Prize, Order of Culture, the Tang Prize, the Kyoto Prize. JMA supreme award of merit, Imperial Prize, Japan Academy Prize, Robert Koch Prize, Order of Culture, the Tang Prize, the Kyoto Prize. Elected as a foreign associate of National Academy of Sciences, USA, as a member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists, and as a member of Japan Academy.
Dr. Yoshiko Akamatsu
Senior Principal Research Scientist, AbbVie Inc.
President, Japan Bio Community
A Kyoto University alumna
Dr. Yoshiko Akamatsu is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at AbbVie Inc. where she develops antibody therapeutics. Since 2017, she is also a president of Japan Bio Community to connect people who works or interested in Biotech/Life science mainly in San Francisco bay area. Prior to joining PDL BioPharma, a biotech which eventually became AbbVie, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Tokushima where she conducted research to understand the mechanisms associated with antibody/T cell receptor repertoire. She completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School (Beth-Israel Deaconess Hospital and MGH) after obtaining her Ph.D. in Biophysics at Kyoto University.