Interview with Dr Fujimoto, Yakult Honsha European Research Centre (YHER) Ghent Belgium
YHER was established in 2005 and is the only direct spin-off of the Yakult Central Institute in Japan.
The main objectives of YHER are to expand and strengthen international research collaboration and to accumulate scientific research data on European populations. YHER is focusing on investigating the effect of our probiotics product containing, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) in various physiological conditions by conducting fundamental and clinical research (see the publication list here below). With regard to fundamental research, YHER has been carrying out the research alone or with Danone Research in France. YHER also plays an active role in supporting the research needed for EU health claims.
Throughout the years, YHER has established various research relationships with European universities and institutes.
The researchers in Yakult Central Institute have been routinely sent to YHER. Since 2011, YHER also started recruiting European researchers. In addition, young European researchers have been accepted for student internship to gain experience in the field of probiotics and microbiology.
Through working at YHER, researchers are well trained as internationally oriented human resources. Most of these researchers serve important functions for bridging international research and collaborations.
When looking into the future, Dr Fujimoto indicates the intention to participate in more EU research projects as well as more interaction with European scientists and research institutes. In April 2018, YHER was involved in the forthcoming International Yakult Symposium in Ghent with poster presentation of their newest data.
“I enjoy working in Ghent very much. Ghent is a lovely place, with its beautiful township and friendly people. The only thing that is missing is a really authentic Japanese restaurant’. Dr Fujimoto ends this brief conversation with a slightly melancholic remark towards Japan.
Publications by YHER researchers: