Researchers and academics from Taiwan and Japan will convene two meetings on genomic research which are said to be the largest regional events in the field of biology this year.
Juan Hsueh-fen (阮雪芬), an assistant professor at National Taiwan University, said that 10 Taiwanese will join their Japanese counterparts for the "2006 Systems Biology Symposium" at Tokyo University in mid-March.
The meeting will then be followed by another gathering, whose date has yet to be determined, in Taiwan, she said.
Hirotada Mori, a professor at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, called the 21st century the era of biotechnology, with systems biology research to be an important focal point.
He called on researchers throughout Asia to join forces to catch up with those in Europe and the US.
Mori, an authority in genomics study, said that systems biology research is essential in this "post genomics era" after the human genome was sequenced, and that the significance of this research lies in discovering useful bits of information that help in the development of biotechnology and the production of new drugs.
Mori said that after touring laboratories in Taiwan, he discovered that the research scale of Taiwanese projects in this regard and the funds allocated for these projects have fallen seriously behind those for projects in the US, Japan and Britain.
He said Taiwan and other Asian governments need to step in and provide more capital for genomics research if such research efforts are to be fruitful, noting that investing billions of dollars in this field has become the international norm.