Welcome to the Conference
of the 16th ASMRM and 19th J-mit in Fukuoka, Japan
As the president of the J-mit, I will organize the 16th Conference of the ASMRM jointed with the 19th Conference of the J-mit, which will be held in Fukuoka on October 3-5, 2019. The theme is “Explore the Mito-World!”. The venue is Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel located in the commercial and shopping center of Tenjin Area, Fukuoka, Japan. Holding the conference of the ASMRM in Fukuoka will be the second time after the 10th ASMRM in 2010 organized by me!
The horizons of mitochondrial medicine and research have continuously expanded for the last 50 years. Mitochondria were recognized as the powerhouse of the cells. Since the first report in 1981 on the sequence and organization of human mitochondrial genome, various pathogenic mutations in both the mitochondrial and nuclear genome have been identified in various human disorders. Because mitochondria play the central role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids, alterations in mitochondrial functions, associated with variations in the mitochondrial genome, have been implicated in various human disorders, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, degenerative disorders and aging, resulting in life-threatening events. Since mitochondria are regarded as a major source of reactive oxygen species within the cells, the involvement of mitochondrial damage has been hypothesized and verified to induce various neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The survey for mitochondrial involvement has been extended to bipolar disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and autistic spectrum disorders.
If we investigate the basic research fields, mitochondria have been identified as the key players determining the fate of cells, necrosis or apoptosis. It is noteworthy that the ROS production from the respiratory chain plays pivotal roles not only in the control of proliferation and differentiation of cells but also in the regulation of mitochondrial mass in the cells. The role of mitochondrial nucleoid has been re-evaluated with respect to the maintenance and segregation of mitochondrial genome in the cells. In addition, various new research trends are emerging; we see the trends expanding to the mechanisms controlling the quality of mitochondria in cells, including fission, fusion, and autophagy of mitochondria.
There are neither efficient diagnosing systems nor effective therapeutic methods for patients with mitochondrial diseases. It is necessary for us to integrate our understanding on the roles of mitochondria in physiological functions of cells as well as on the mechanisms underlying various diseases and the aging process. I would like to ask all the participants of the 16th Conference of Asian Society for Mitochondrial Research and Medicine (ASMRM) to exchange mutually novel research approaches and to discuss actively on the recent achievements.
The first conference of the ASMRM was held at Seoul in 2003 under the leadership of the first president of the ASMRM, Prof. Hong Kyu Lee. Since then, the conference has been held every year in either Korea, Taiwan, China, or Japan. Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the founding professors who established this wonderful ASMRM.
Please visit beautiful Fukuoka and explore the Mito-World!
Yasutoshi Koga, MD, PhD
President of the ASMRM
President of the J-mit
Professor of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Kurume University School of Medicine.