Community Spotlight

A Bridge to Learning:
The Contents Committee of DIA Japan

Atsushi Tsukamoto
Vice President
New Regulatory Affairs
Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.


n Japan, emerging science and technology have significantly contributed to improving the life sciences, especially to curing disease. The government of Japan works together with academia to promote the new and innovative technologies that result in innovative therapies for patients in Japan. To fully evaluate the safety and efficacy of these innovative products for their target patient population, both regulatory and industry professionals must stay abreast of the most recent advancements in science and technology.

One of the key success factors in this context is selecting timely and appropriate topics for educational and networking activities in this region. The external landscape must be tracked, and emerging needs must be captured and addressed. For this purpose, and under the regional Advisory Council of Japan (ACJ), DIA Japan launched its Contents Committee in 2012. Individually, members of this volunteer Committee work in industry, academic research, and health or regulatory authorities, and provide broad expertise in regulatory affairs, clinical research, biostatistics, project management, and other disciplines. Collectively, the Contents Committee ensures that timely and appropriate topics are reflected in DIA training, workshops, and other educational events in Japan.

DIA Japan’s unique Contents Committee has contributed in the following ways:

Launch of New Event

DIA Japan will present its first Cutting Edge Symposium in 2019. Conceived by the Contents Committee, the event will consolidate the latest information on emerging science and technology for professionals in industry, academia, and health authorities to aid with the development of future therapies. The symposium’s theme is “Current and future perspectives to utilize artificial intelligence and digital technologies for drug development.”

Contribution to DIA Japan Annual Meeting

Until fairly recently, all DIA Japan Annual Meeting content was prepared by the Annual Meeting Program Committee. In 2016, to incorporate the different perspectives and voices of stakeholders throughout the Japan healthcare and product development lifecycles, the Contents Committee issued a call for abstracts for poster presenters and session speakers. This call was further expanded in 2018 to accept session abstracts as well as English-only abstracts, and resulted in the 2018 session Target Product Profile: Better Way to Build Up R&D Management Plan, which discussed how to use the TPP to bridge academic research and industry product development.

The Contents Committee’s other major Annual Meeting achievement is a more robust “Chatting Session.” It allows participants from industry, academia, and health authorities to freely exchange thoughts and opinions in a laid-back format, with each DIA Japan Community inviting participants into a “hot topic discussion” with their community subject matter experts.

Deepening Community Connections

As a multi-disciplinary forum, the Contents Committee has a unique opportunity to facilitate activities among DIA Communities in Japan. These activities include collaborations between clinical operations and project management, clinical operations and statistics, six sigma and project management, and so on. Contents Committee discussions initiated these and other new collaborative opportunities, including various Annual Meeting sessions and several training courses. The fusion of all this expertise perfectly captures the uniqueness of DIA.

Fostering A New Generation of Leaders

Key senior volunteers are working in tandem with the Contents Committee to identify and foster a new generation of DIA Japan members and volunteers by bringing students and young professionals into committee and community discussions, giving them an opportunity to contribute to various student and other volunteer events and thereby laying the foundation for the next generation of DIA Japan.

Atsushi Tsukamoto serves as DIA Japan Contents Committee Chair.

DIA Japan Contents Committee Roles and Responsibilities

  • Propose or initiate new and improve existing DIA Japan programs and events.
  • Continuously assess the value of DIA Japan programs and events to members.
  • Create deliverables upon request from ACJ or global DIA.
  • Foster a new generation of DIA volunteers through various channels, such as the Operations Team (another organization unique to DIA Japan), which consists of young professionals supporting DIA educational and networking events.