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Kishi Reiko

E-mail: rkishi@med.hokudai.ac.jp

Prof. Reiko KISHI is an eminent professor for Environmental and Health Sciences, Hokkaido University. She is the principal investigator of The Hokkaido Birth Cohort Studies of Environment and Children's Health (malformation, allergy, and development), which is a large-scale community-based birth cohort studies (n= 20,000), which has been conducted since 2002, focusing on how and to what extent low level environmental chemicals affect fetal development, malformation, birth size, the immune system, allergy, thyroidal & reproductive function of the mother and child, and child developmental disorders such as ADHD and ASD, including gene-environment interaction. Currently she is continuing the survey of the 10 year-old children. So far her group has clarified that even low levels of PCBs & dioxins, pesticides, and PFOS/PFOA influence children's health. Even with a similar level of exposure to POPs, quite large differences of the effects on children are observed with regard to both parents' and children's genetic susceptibility, i.e. genetic polymorphisms such as those in aryl hydrocarbon receptors, drug-metabolizing enzymes, and folate metabolism are significantly associated with different fetal and infant effects. Recently more than 20 birth-cohort studies are now ongoing in Asia. 10 countries recently became members of the Asian Consortium of birth-cohort studies, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan & China. This international collaboration will enhance the quality of new studies in Asia and other continents.
In addition to the above, she has done a variety of studies on 1) Environmental and occupational health; 2) Indoor air quality and sick-building syndrome, 3) Studies on occupational stress and physical & mental health of workers, 4) Occupational studies on the neurobehavioural effects of organic solvents and metals 5) Occupational cancer epidemiology, 6) Experimental toxicological studies of environmental chemicals, especially, neurobehavioral toxicology and Experimental studies on reproductive and developmental toxicology, 7) Social support networks and preventive care for the elderly.
In 2005 she was elected as a member of the Science Council of Japan. As a member, she has organized several committees, which edited and issued more than 10 recommendations to the government and academia. One of the important recommendations is "Towards restructuring of the system concerning work employment and safety-health", which focused on preventing "Karoshi", sudden death due to overwork, and depression and suicide among workers, which is the most crucial issue in Japan. As the chairperson of the Food Hygiene Council of Japan Committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (2005~), She has made great efforts to codify the safety limits for the level of radiation-contaminated foods in her country. It is a very important issue after the catastrophic disaster of the great East Japan earthquake (2011) and Fukushima radiation accident of TEPCO. From April of 2015, she became a director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Environmental Health and prevention of Chemical Hazards in her Hokkaido University. She was elected as vice-president of Japanese Association of Medical Sciences in June of 2015.

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