12th President of the Japan Epidemiological Association
Professor of the Department of Public Health,
Faculty of Medicine, Hokkaido University
I assumed the role of President from Professor Tomotaka Sobue at the General Meeting early this year. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiology as an academic area has received greater social attention than ever before. Epidemiology is the core of my research focus, and it is an honor to be the President of the Japan Epidemiological Association. I will do my best to fulfill my responsibilities.
The primary objectives of our association are to bring together researchers from various fields and promote opinion exchange, thereby creating a virtuous cycle. Epidemiology covers a wide range of topics, and researchers involved in this academic association come from various disciplines, including public health, preventive medicine, clinical medicine, nursing, caregiving, nutrition, exercise and physical activity, biostatistics, and humanities sciences (such as psychology, social science, and policy science) and their respective practices. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies are addressed from the perspectives of predisposition, environment, lifestyle habits, etc. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to create a common research base, and to nurture high-quality researchers and promote interaction among them. Furthermore, since we deal with humans, social-ethical aspects are an essential part of epidemiological research. It is important to ensure that study participants understand study objectives through communication and convey their research findings back to the community with the aim of contributing to the implementation of measures. To this end, it is not only necessary that study results be reported, but also that collaboration be implemented among academia, industry, government, and the broader private sector. I will endeavor to make progress step by step in a manner consistent with the goals and ethos of the Japan Epidemiological Association.
Based on the Future Vision Committee report (relevant to operating principles) toward a vision for the next 10 years, published in 2018, I intend to operate our organization in a similar fashion to previous years. However, our social situation has dramatically changed and, as noted above, epidemiology has become the focus of broad social attention. Much is now expected of us. To meet this new reality, I have additionally organized an academic committee to promote the research activities of members and to deal with urgent research needs, including anti-COVID-19 measures. In addition, in this term we will make an interim assessment of progress based on the indices described in the report, review the system, and take other required actions. Until now, the chief of the secretariat has been selected from the institution to which the president belongs. In this term, however, Dr. Hiroyuki Kikuchi of Tokyo Medical University was asked to accept this position because the secretariat system has been fixed and stabilized in Tokyo since 2013. Also consistent with previous procedures, Dr. Manami Inoue of the National Cancer Center and Dr. Michikazu Sekine of Toyama University were invited to become vice presidents.
Please accept my non-contact greetings to all members of our association during the COVID-19 period. I sincerely ask for your kind cooperation to promote the progress of epidemiology.