alexa Japanese Society for Medical Mycology

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Japanese Society for Medical Mycology

The Japanese Society for Medical Mycology, as its name suggests, has long played a key role in the research of medical mycology in Japan as the unique society of specialists dedicated to the study of pathogenic eumycetes and mycosis. The Society was formed in the autumn of 1956, as successor to the Research Team on Candidiasis set up with Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japanese Ministry of Education in 1955. This was a truly interdisciplinary group of researchers, all being leading lights in clinical and basic research in various fields including Professor Imaakira Donomae (the then Professor of Internal Medicine, Osaka University) and Professor Tomoichiro Akiba (the then Professor of Bacteriology, University of Tokyo). Thanks to this eminent group, the Society was launched on a sure footing.

True fungi (Eumycota) are eukaryote constituting one of the five animal kingdoms. They are used in brewing and fermented food products as well as in pharmaceuticals. Through such uses, these microbes have been closely associated with everyday human activities since ancient times. As regards disease, the study of eumycota had been conducted principally in the field of dermatology, as causes of superficial skin infections such as trichophytosis. Meanwhile, mycoses came to be recognized as sources of concern in internal medicine, for example, systemic mycosis, which is a serious complication that afflicts leukaemia patients, and mycoses that occur as the harmful effect of high-dose use of antibiotics and adrenocortical hormones. This led to the call for a specialist academic society that deals with medical mycology.

As member society of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences, the Japanese Society for Medical Mycology has held 46 annual meetings to date. The Society's main concern is obviously mycology in the medical field, but members include researchers from a true diversity of specialist domains encompassing science, pharmacy, agriculture, fishery, veterinary medicine, and food microbiology. The annual meeting is a forum for active debate each year. In the medical sector, Society members comprise researchers in internal medicine, surgery, dermatology, acute medicine and other fields of clinical medicine as well as researchers in Medical Mycology, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry and pharmacology. Their interest is in fighting against mycoses whose conditions evolve daily and the Society serves as a forum for debate and arena for presentation of research findings.

With various environmental changes in medical care that have occurred in recent years, notably the advances in chemotherapy against malignant tumors and in organ transplants and the spread of AIDS, serious deep mycoses due to opportunistic pathogens have emerged as a problem, highlighting the importance of medical mycology. This is the backdrop against which the Society has grown to a membership in excess of 1,100. In addition to the participation of researchers from wide-ranging disciplines, the Society considers itself to be a significant contributor to the development of studies in infection as an extremely specialized society that focuses on medical mycology. What is published and debated in the Society should serve not only to reaffirm the importance of mycoses in the wider context but also lead to the diffusion of knowledge to the entire spectrum of interested persons from frontline medical practitioners to researchers. Moreover, new research themes should be generated and further progress of diagnosis and treatment should be promoted, thereby enhancing public welfare at large.

 In 1960, Eumycetes and Mycoses (Shinkin to Shinkinsho) was first published as the Society's journal. Today, it is published quarterly as the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology (Nippon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi). The Journal attracts a large number of papers, clearly reflecting the rapid advances being made in the discipline.

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