We were deeply shocked to hear about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, and would like to express our sympathy with the people of Japan.
Throughout the weekend, we have been following news from colleagues in Japan, but we still don’t have a complete picture of where researchers in the affected area are and how they are doing. If you do have information or would like to enquire about biologists in Northern Japan, please feel free to use the comments area of this post to communicate and share information with other developmental biologists.
We do have an update at this moment from the CDB Epigenetics Symposium.
This symposium is currently underway in Kobe – a city no stranger to earthquakes itself. Despite many cancellations from participants, and a few requests to call the meeting off, the organizers made a decision to hold the symposium anyway. In an email to meeting participants, they explain why:
“[S]ome advised us not to hold the CDB symposium. However, we also learnt from the Kobe earthquake that maintaining our daily activity and maintaining a sense of normalcy, is the best what we can do in the unaffected areas.”
The symposium has, however, been reduced to two days only. Many attendees had to cancel, and flights in and out of any part of Japan are experiencing delays.
We are closely following news from the Japanese developmental biology community through contacts at RIKEN CDB and the JSDB. We’ll update this post with news, and encourage you to communicate in the comments, so you can bookmark this post and come back to it later to find out what’s going on with your colleagues in Japan.
– From various sources (but first through Raj’s comment below) we heard that Tohoku University’s Dr. Koji Tamura, Dr. Harukazu Nakamura, Dr. Funahashi, Dr. Toshihiko Ogura, Dr. Noriko Osumi, and Dr. Asako Sugimoto and their lab members are all doing fine. The labs have suffered material damage, and they have lost freezer samples, but we hope to have more detail on how the research community can help them once they’re settling back into their labs.
– The joint GfE/JSDB meeting in Dresden will be held next week with a shortened programme, as not all Japanese speakers will be able to attend.
– German researchers have set up the Nippon Science Support Network, to offer space and resources to their Japanese colleagues. (via The Great Beyond, which has more updates).
– (31/3 update) The NIH has sent Japanese societies an offer to help: “Plans are underway to provide temporary scientific homes at NIH for Japanese colleagues and fellows who may have lost research facilities in Japan. Also, the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) has established a fund to help earthquake victims in Japan. Voluntary contributions may be sent to FAES, NIH Building 60, Suite 230 (One Cloister Court, Bethesda, MD 20814) and designated for the “Japanese Earthquake Fund.”” (as sent to the JSDB by Michael M. Gottesman of the NIH)
-(6/4 update) The NSF has grants available for researchers affected by either the New Zealand or Japan earthquakes. See their website for details.
CDB epigenetic symposium (with updates)
Tohoku University emergency page for students and staff (Japanese).
Google Person Finder (English/Japanese)