The agreement was signed by USM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman and the President of RIKEN, Prof. Ryoji Noyori.
Both these institutions have been working closely since 1993 in several areas of research, as well as in the exchange and training of researchers. A number of USM students was sent to the institute and participated in special programmes initiated by RIKEN Institute, including training of young researchers and joint research in the field of biomass, chemical biology and immunology.
Prof. Dato’ Omar said USM and RIKEN has appointed Assoc. Prof. K. Sudesh Kumar, Director of the Unit of Industry Network, Division of Industry and Community Network as the coordinator for the collaboration between USM and RIKEN.
"In September 2011, USM and RIKEN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and has established a specialized laboratory known as the ''USM-RIKEN Joint Laboratory for Bioprobe Discovery” based in USM for the purpose of research in producing drugs for dengue fever, tubercolosis and HIV using natural resources.
"Today, our collaborative relationship is further strengthened with the MoA signing which I believe will enable us to carry out the joint research initiatives immediately," he said after the MoA signing ceremony.
RIKEN, also known as the 'Institute of Physical and Chemical Research' was first established in 1917 and is among the top research centres in Japan. The institute has a proven record of excellence as evident in producing several Nobel Award recipients in the various fields including Chemistry and Physics as well as attracting the attention of many renowned scientists all over the world who visited the institute including Albert Einstein.
On 21 September 2011, Ryoji Noyori, was also recognized by USM and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by HRH Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, Chancellor of USM.
In 2006, another RIKEN’s researcher, Prof. Yoshiharu Doi has also received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in conjunction with USM 35th Convocation Ceremony.