Dr Piero Carninci, deputy director of RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Japan’s contribution to human genome research was given the nod when organisers of a major conference on the subject chose Yokohama as the destination for their 2018 congress.

The 22nd Human Genome Meeting (HGM2018) will be held in Yokohama in March next year. It will be the second time Japan has hosted the conference after Kyoto staged the event in 2005.

The conference, organised by the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO), will take place at the PACIFICO convention centre and should attract around 400 participants from 39 countries.

Japan was one of six countries, including France, Germany, China, the UK and the USA, involved in the Human Genome Project, which identified and mapped all of the genes of the human genome.

A genome is a complete set of DNA and includes all the information needed to build an organism.

The 13-year project, which was completed in 2013, was the foundation stone of all subsequent genome research. Genomic research plays a central role in the life sciences sector in Japan.

HUGO originally launched HGM as an annual meeting focused on the Human Genome Project.

In its current format, a broad spectrum of participants from public research organisations and pharmaceutical companies will be discussing a variety of topics related to genome research.

Dr Piero Carninci, deputy director of RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, has been appointed as a chair for HGM2018. RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution, has a Yokohama campus and some of the world’s most advanced research on life science is being conducted there.

Carninci is also a council member of HUGO.

For many years he has made exceptional contributions to the development of genome research, both here and abroad. He has won a number of national awards such as the Biotec Award, the NISTEP Researchers award and the HUGO Chen Award of Excellence.

Reacting to the announcement, Carninci said: “I am pleased to have such an important meeting to be placed in Japan again. It’s an honour to have been selected as a local chair for HGM, and I hope to use my network to attract researchers inside and outside of Japan and contribute to its further expansion of Genome Science.”