Kazuhide Higuchi, M.D., Ph.D.
Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Japanese Gastroenterological Association
2nd Department of Internal Medicine
Osaka Medical College
In February 2019, I was elected to be the 5th Chairperson of the Japanese Gastroenterological Association (JGA). The JGA was established in 2004 with a central focus on doctors and researchers who specialize in gastrointestinal science and we celebrated 15th anniversary this year. Our membership is now over 5,000 and becomes a big association. We have turned out many JGA Gastroenterological Specialists and Advising Doctors. From now on, we would like to contribute to health and welfare of citizens by bringing up doctors who have wealth of knowledge and good medical skills of gastrointestinal diseases.
There are many associations related to gastroenterology, such as the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology, Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society and so on. Therefore, we want to bring out our uniqueness in the future. Our main uniqueness may include clarification of physiology of gastrointestinal tract, clarification of clinical condition and development of new treatment methods for various benign/malignant gastrointestinal diseases, promotion of researches related to gastrointestinal endoscopy, and collaboration of gastroenterological medicine and surgery, mainly focusing on gastroenterology. Our future topics include genomic medicine, regenerative medicine using iPS cells and fat stem cells, development of diagnostic technologies for gastrointestinal diseases using AI, development of therapeutic methods for cancer and refractory diseases, drug discovery and repositioning, handling of telemedicine and super-aging society, relationship between intestinal flora (dysbiosis) and various gastrointestinal diseases.
One of our features is blending of clinical and basic medicine. The JGA is a place to give presentation and discussion about so-called “translational research” to do basic research of clinical questions and development of new therapy and to give feedback to the clinical medicine.
Internationally, as the interaction with the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the JGA organizes hands-on workshops of endoscopic therapy in the ACG annual meeting in the USA and they give special lectures in the annual meeting of the JGA. In addition, JGA Keynote Program “International Gastrointestinal Consensus Symposium (IGICS)” is to be held once a year during the annual meeting of the JGA as a single-topic conference in which discussions are made on a single topic throughout the day. The intent of this symposium is to foster the academic development of young gastroenterologists from Asian countries and to increase international relations.
We welcome submission of your interesting article to our English official journal “Digestion”. In closing, we are looking forward for non-Japanese doctors and researchers to attend our annual academic meetings.