Prof. Eiji Haramoto of the Interdisciplinary Center for River Basin Environment received the 5th Japan Research Front Award from Clarivate Analytics

05/28/2024 Topics

 On May 22, 2024, the ceremony for the 5th Japan Research Front Award was held by Clarivate Analytics (Japan) Co.,Ltd at the Akasaka TKP Conference Center, and Prof. Eiji Haramoto of the Interdisciplinary Center for River Basin Environment received the award.
 In each research field in the Web of Science, the world’s largest academic paper database, Clarivate analyzes top 1% most highly cited papers that are cited (co-cited) together with papers published later and identified “Research Fronts” that are expected to develop dramatically in the future and researchers who are recognized for their activities and contributions in each Research Front.
 This year, for the first time in eight years, 12,726 Research Fronts were selected for papers included in the database from January 2018 to October 2023, focusing on papers and research fields with a significant upward trend in citation growth, and further analysis was done for 213 Research Fronts with a large presence of Japanese research institutions. As a result, 11 Research Fronts and 11 awardees were selected.
 The name of the Research Front awarded to Prof. Haramoto is “Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE).”
 Prof. Haramoto has been involved in research on WBE, which measure severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in influent of wastewater treatment plants to estimate the incidence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in communities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 In collaboration with Prof. Masaaki Kitajima of the University of Tokyo, who also won the “WBE” Research Front, Prof. Haramoto published the world’s first review paper proposing the effectiveness of WBE and succeeded in detecting SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater for the first time in Japan. Furthermore, in collaboration with Takara Bio Inc., Prof. Haramoto developed highly sensitive real-time PCR kits capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2, influenza viruses, and enteropathogenic bacteria in wastewater, while in collaboration with JNC Corporation, he developed a kit for concentrating SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. He also developed a method for simultaneous detection of many types of viruses and applied WBE to some Asian countries through international joint research, thereby establishing a technological foundation for utilizing WBE in the COVID-19 era.
 Prof. Haramoto said, “I am very honored to receive this prestigious award. Prof. Kitajima and I came up with the Japanese translation of “Wastewater-based epidemiology” (Gesui-ekigaku) in 2020, and I am delighted that it has been recognized as a novel research field over the past four years.
 WBE is one of the research topics that I have been continuously working on since my student days, and it has attracted renewed social attention and expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have been carrying out my research with a great sense of satisfaction in implementing the results of my research in society. I would like to express my gratitude to the members of my laboratory and many collaborating researchers and institutions in Japan and abroad for their cooperation in promoting our research. I will continue to promote our research so that I can achieve high-impact results and contribute to society.”

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