ZEISS-iCeMS Innovation Core launches with symposium and ceremony

On 28 October, the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), a part of Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS), opened a collaborative research and development center with Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Germany, marking the occasion with a symposium and MoU-signing ceremony. The center, called ZEISS-iCeMS Innovation Core, aims to develop the world’s best cutting-edge live cell-imaging technology based on microscopes that are yet to be released, while also conducting performance evaluation on these devices as part of the R&D process. At the same time, it will offer the use of the latest ZEISS microscopes to researchers across Kyoto University and beyond.

In 2018, iCeMS joined the science ministry’s “Support Program for Implementation of New Equipment Sharing System” becoming the first KyotoU institute to do so – and has since been working on a system to facilitate maintenance, updates, and shared use of its equipment. ZEISS-iCeMS Innovation Core was formed as part of this effort, following two years of negotiation between iCeMS and Carl Zeiss Microscopy toward the establishment of a research partnership and a joint facility.

The 28 October symposium featured three presentations on life science research utilizing high-powered microscopes. The lectures were delivered by Professors Koichiro Tanaka and Ryuichiro Kageyama, both of them adjunct principal investigators at iCeMS, and Professor Naoki Watanabe of the Graduate School of Medicine.

The ceremony then opened with speeches from Carl Zeiss Microscopy’s President/CEO Michael Albiez and Senior Director Bernhard Zimmermann; Kyoto University’s Provost Nagahiro Minato, who is also executive vice-president for strategy coordination, research, planning, and hospital administration; and iCeMS’ Director/KUIAS Distinguished Professor Susumu Kitagawa. Finally, Professor Mineko Kengaku, deputy director of iCeMS and director of the iCeMS Analysis Center, stated: “4D imaging technology is essential for the future development of cell biology. We are delighted to be able to contribute to the development of this technology through the fusion of iCeMS cell biology research and ZEISS microscopy.”

Director Kitagawa and President Arbiez then signed the MoU, as sixty attendees from Carl Zeiss Microscopy and iCeMS celebrated.

The ceremony was followed by a reception, where researchers from Germany and Japan enjoyed the opportunity to exchange views on the future of imaging technology and the life sciences.


From left: Carl Zeiss Microscopy’s Senior Director Zimmermann and President/CEO Albiez, and iCeMS’ Director Kitagawa and Deputy Director Kengaku


KyotoU Provost/EVP Minato delivering a congratulatory address


Symposium presenters, from left: Professors Tanaka, Watanabe, and Kageyama


Media interview




Ceremony participants

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