Welcome Message

The 68th Annual Meeting of Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Congress Chair Ryoetsu IMAI
from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

I’m pleased to announce that the Annual Meeting of Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science is scheduled to be held online over three days from Wednesday, May 19 to Friday, May 21, 2021 and it celebrates its 68th anniversary this year. Although having planned to convene in Tokyo to meet in person as usual every year, we decided to shift to a web-based conference amid the pandemic and concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

As the preamble of “Basic Guidelines for Proper Conduct of Animal Testing and Related Activities” under the Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare stipulates, it is obvious that “Animal experiments and related activities are necessary and unavoidable for gaining scientific insights into the biological activities of living organisms, safeguarding human and animal welfare, and solving issues including conservation and restoration of the environment. Deliverables obtained by the animal experiments and related activities have significantly contributed to the promotion of human and animal welfare.” Artificial Intelligence will evolve further, but I believe that animal experiments and related activities remain significantly important and continue to highly contribute to biotechnology especially such as medical and drug discovery researches. Therefore, we’ve set the central theme of the annual meeting as “Laboratory Animals which continue to contribute to the fields of medicine” this year.

I believe that we as personnel involved in the care and use of Laboratory Animals have been recognizing once again the importance of laboratory animals which contribute to the research in pathophysiology, treatment, prevention, etc. of new coronavirus infections. Therefore, we asked Prof. Jiro Yasuda, of Institute of Tropical Medicine , Nagasaki University, to provide a special lecture titled “Small animal models for COVID-19 ”. Also, we requested Dr. Kikuji Itoh, from Japan SLC, Inc. to give an educational lecture titled “Breeding environment and intestinal microbiota “, as we would like to take this opportunity to reconsider what SPF is since the original definition of SPF animal is for laboratory animals that are guaranteed free of particular pathogens meanwhile the definition seems to be in the process of change to ensure that certain animals that have specific pathogens. We are also planning to invite lecturers on wide range of eight subjects titled “ Current State of Drug Discovery with AI and big data“, “What role does diet have to support laboratory animals ”, “Genome editing and humanized animals”, “How far can be done on managing laboratory animals using AI and automated technology”, “Animal Experiments in Drug Discovery”, “Research into Sleep, Biological rhythm and Hibernation”, “Is the host unique or common? What is important?” and “Experimental model and selection of coronavirus infection”. In addition to presentation on general topics, seminars held by LAS, Luncheon and Afternoon Seminars are also programmed as usual. We would also like to exhibit laboratory animals equipment through online but we will offer some in a close to physical show with the cooperation of Laboratory Animals Equipment Association of Nippon.

We’re announcing that many presentation will be on-demand broadcasting in line with current regulations. This year the conference isn’t going to be an in-person event, but meanwhile it is good that those who have pre-registered can watch it at their convenience, so your pre-registration and watch is very welcome. We would like to notify you that some symposiums and luncheon and afternoon seminars will be live-streamed and presented in real time as if the participants were on-site.

This is our first try to hold web-based annual meeting for Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science on a trial and error basis. We look forward to your cooperation and participation for making this conference a success.