Making connections with the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University

Drs. Raghanti and Meindl recently visited Japan to establish a joint collaboration between Kent State University and Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute and to build a foundation for training the next generation of researchers in the field of biological anthropology.

From Drs. Raghanti and Meindl:

We each spent about two weeks in Japan, first traveling to Inuyama to collect data at the Primate Research Institute (PRI) with our gracious hosts and collaborators Dr. Eishi Hirasaki, Dr. Takeshi Nishimura, and Dr. Hirohisa Hirai. Our trips follow the visit of one of our graduate students, Emily Munger (see her blog posts here), who spent 10 weeks in Japan last summer. Emily was funded by NSF and JSPS to study the effects of aging on learning tasks in marmoset monkeys with Dr. Katsuki Nakamura, also of the PRI. This summer (2016), another of our graduate students, Cody Ruiz, will be working at the PRI with Dr. Imamura (read about it here!). Finally, our very own Dr. Anthony Tosi will also be there in June as a visiting researcher, working on projects related to primate genetics.

Inuyama (castle town) is the home of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute. We collected morphological data from the PRI nonhuman primate skeletal collections to inform our studies on the evolutionary changes in the upper limb, pelvis, and vertebral column that occurred since our divergence from the last common (Miocene ape) ancestor.


We each had an opportunity to present our research to our colleagues in Inuyama and we each traveled to Kyoto to give presentations in the ancient city with our host and fellow researcher there, Dr. Masato Nakatsukasa. 


We collected a tremendous amount of data, made important connections with our colleagues in Japan, including also Dr. Yukiori Goto, Dr. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Dr. Andrew MacIntosh, and Dr. Yuta Shintaku, and also fell in love with their beautiful country. We are deeply indebted to our hosts and colleagues for this amazing opportunity and wish to thank them and Kyoto University for funding this work.

We look forward to continuing these collaborations and are analyzing the data that we collected for future publications.