TSUTOMU SAWAI

Last Updated :2023/01/12

Affiliations, Positions
Hiroshima University, Associate Professor
Web Site
E-mail
tstmswhiroshima-u.ac.jp
Self-introduction
My current research interests lie primarily in issues concerning new and emerging technologies in practical ethics, particularly topics pertaining to synthetic embryology, in vitro gametogenesis and organogenesis, human-animal chimera research, and genome/epigenome editing as well as in methodology called "empirical bioethics" which integrates the "theory" and "practice" as such in drawing a normative conclusion for real-world bioethical issues. For the former, I am conducting a meta-analysis of various ethical debates, and analytical philosophical reflections on these topics. For the latter, I am constructing a novel methodology of empirical bioethics in bioethics research, and applying this methodology to address a pressing issue in practical ethics field in order to generate normative recommendations that are grounded in research practice. My overall objective is to provide ethical frameworks for research and clinical applications. Considering the urgency of recent bioethical issues that are arising on a global scale, my attempt will be significant in advancing the field of bioethics in Japan and internationally, whilst also contributing to solving actual social and ethical problems that are arising in the development of biomedical research.

Basic Information

Major Professional Backgrounds

  • 2022/04, 2023/03, Kyoto University, KUIAS Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology, Associate Inestigator
  • 2019/07, 2022/03, Kyoto University, KUIAS Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology, Assistant Professor
  • 2018/04, 2019/06, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics, Assistant Professor
  • 2014/10, 2018/03, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics, Research Fellow

Educational Backgrounds

  • Kyoto University, Japan, 2010/04, 2016/09
  • Kyoto University, Japan, 2008/04, 2010/03

Academic Degrees

  • MA (Human and Environmental Studies), Kyoto University
  • PhD (Human and Environmental Studies), Kyoto University

Educational Activity

  • [Bachelor Degree Program] School of Integrated Arts and Sciences : Department of Integrated Arts and Sciences : Integrated Arts and Sciences
  • [Master's Program] Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences : Division of Humanities and Social Sciences : International Peace and Co-existence Program
  • [Master's Program] Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences : Division of Humanities and Social Sciences : Integrated Arts and Human Sciences Program
  • [Doctoral Program] Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences : Division of Humanities and Social Sciences : International Peace and Co-existence Program
  • [Doctoral Program] Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences : Division of Humanities and Social Sciences : Integrated Arts and Human Sciences Program

Research Fields

  • Humanities;Philosophy;Philosophy / Ethics
  • Humanities;Philosophy;Religious studies

Research Keywords

  • Ethics / Applied Ethics (Bioethics) / Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) of life science and healthcare / Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) / Philosophy of Disease / Ethics in Religion / Modern and Contemporary Japanese Philosophy and Ethics

Affiliated Academic Societies

  • The Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine
  • The Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine
  • Japanese Association for Religious Studies
  • The Japanese Society for Ethics
  • Japan Association for Bioethics

Educational Activity

Course in Charge

  1. 2022, Liberal Arts Education Program1, 3Term, Communication IIA
  2. 2022, Liberal Arts Education Program1, 4Term, Ethics
  3. 2022, Liberal Arts Education Program1, 1Term, Ethics
  4. 2022, Undergraduate Education, 2Term, Bioethics
  5. 2022, Undergraduate Education, 1Term, Seminar in Applied Ethics
  6. 2022, Undergraduate Education, 3Term, Ethics, Killing and Violence I
  7. 2022, Undergraduate Education, 3Term, Ethics, Killing and Violence II
  8. 2022, Graduate Education (Master's Program) , 2Term, Contemporary Philosophy
  9. 2022, Graduate Education (Master's Program) , 1Term, Philosophy of Culture
  10. 2022, Graduate Education (Master's Program) , 4Term, Practical Ethics

Research Activities

Academic Papers

  1. Personal ethical settings for driverless cars and the utility paradox: An ethical analysis of public attitudes in UK and Japan, PLOS ONE, 17(11), e0275812-e0275812, 20221115
  2. ★, The regulation of human blastoid research: A bioethical discussion of the limits of regulation, EMBO reports, e56045, 20220914
  3. First synthetic embryos: the scientific breakthrough raises serious ethical questions, The Conversation, 20220811
  4. Tech firms are making computer chips with human cells – is it ethical?, The Conversation, 20220524
  5. Human Brain Organoids and Consciousness, Neuroethics, 15(1), 20220204
  6. Ethical issues associated with human brain organoid research and application, Bioscience and Industry, 79(6), 498-501, 202111
  7. Public attitudes in Japan toward the creation and use of gametes derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells, Future Science OA, 7(10), FSO755, 20211023
  8. Public attitudes in Japan toward the reproductive use of gametes derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells, Future Science OA, 7(10), FSO754, 20211023
  9. Promises and rules: The implications of rethinking the 14-day rule for research on human embryos, EMBO reports, 22(9), e53726, 20210906
  10. ★, Mapping the Ethical Issues of Brain Organoid Research and Application, AJOB Neuroscience, 13(2), 1-14, 20210326
  11. Philosophical and Ethical Consideration of Consciousness of Human Brain Organoids: In Terms of Precautionary Principle, Journal of Innovative Ethics, 61-83, 202103
  12. The American Public Is Ready to Accept Human-Animal Chimera Research., Stem cell reports, 15(4), 804-810, 20200914
  13. Ethical Framework for Next-Generation Genome and Epigenome Editing, The American Journal of Bioethics, 20(8), 32-36, 20200802
  14. ★, The moral status of human embryo-like structures: potentiality matters?, EMBO reports, 21(8), e50984, 20200727
  15. Do brains generated in vitro have consciousness?: The ethics of human brain organoid research, Sekaishiso, 79-83, 202004
  16. Japan Significantly Relaxes Its Human-Animal Chimeric Embryo Research Regulations., Cell stem cell, 24(4), 513-514, 20190404
  17. Life science and religion/ethics: With reference to stem cell research [in Japanese], Gendai Shukyo 2019 [Modern Religions 2019], 179-205, 201901
  18. Ethics of organoid research [in Japanese], Igaku no Ayumi [Progress in Medicine], 264(8), 679-684, 201802
  19. The Japanese Generally Accept Human-Animal Chimeric Embryo Research but Are Concerned About Human Cells Contributing to Brain and Gametes., Stem cells translational medicine, 6(8), 1749-1750, 201708
  20. Public attitudes in Japan towards human-animal chimeric embryo research using human induced pluripotent stem cells., Regenerative medicine, 12(3), 233-248, 201704
  21. Risk of Tumorigenesis and Patient Hope, AJOB Neuroscience, 6(1), 69-70, 201502
  22. The moral value of induced pluripotent stem cells: a Japanese bioethics perspective on human embryo research., Journal of medical ethics, 40(11), 766-9, 201411
  23. Ishida Baigan's Views of Life and Death : His Experiences of Apprehension and His Self-Consciousness as a Confucian, Journal of religious studies, 87(3), 549-571, 2013
  24. "Habits of the heart" in Sekimon-Shingaku: with special focus on Ishida Baigan's experience of "self-awakening" and his thought, Forum on history of education, 25-41, 201103

Publications such as books

  1. 2021/09, To What Extent Can We Manipulate Life: Lecture on Applied Ethics, Keio University Press, 2021, 202109, Scholarly Book, Single work, 日本語, Tsutomu Sawai, 978-4766427684
  2. 2020/05, Progress and Challenges of iPS Cells, Progress and Challenges of iPS Cells, Tokyo Shoseki, 2020, Book(general), Others, jpn, 9784487813018, 175
  3. 2017/10, Intersection of the Wisdom of Science and Humanities: Thinking about Ethical Issues of iPS Cell Research, Intersection of the Wisdom of Science and Humanities: Thinking about Ethical Issues of iPS Cell Research, Kobundo, 2017, 201710, Scholarly Book, Joint work, jpn, Sawai Tsutomu, 9784335750175, 368, 119-146
  4. 2017/03, Ethics of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research, Ethics of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research, Kyoto University Press, Scholarly Book, Single work, jpn, Sawai Tsutomu, 4814000774, 245

Invited Lecture, Oral Presentation, Poster Presentation

  1. The Ethics of Human Brain Organoid Research, Tsutomu Sawai, PMC Fall 2022 Colloquia, 2023/01/13, With Invitation, English, The Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University
  2. Bioethics in the Advancement of Science and Technology: Present and Future, SAWAI Tsutomu, Online Seminar, The Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, 2022/12/26, With Invitation, Japanese, The Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan
  3. Bioethics in Mathematics, SAWAI Tsutomu, The 2nd ASHBi workshop for Mathematical Human Biology, 2022/11/18, With Invitation, English
  4. Ethical issues in brain organoid research, SAWAI Tsutomu, Public Symposium "Ethical Issues in Neuroscience", 2022/08/27, With Invitation, Japanese, Science Council of Japan
  5. Ethical Issues raised by Genome Editing Technologies, SAWAI Tsutomu, The 7th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Genome Editing, 2022/06/07, With Invitation, Japanese
  6. Ethics of ectogenesis, SAWAI Tsutomu, RIKEN Innovation Design Office Forum, 2019/07/22, With Invitation, Japanese, RIKEN Innovation Design Office, Japan
  7. Japanese perspectives on human germline genome editing, SAWAI Tsutomu, International Dialogue on Bioethics and Ethics in Science and Technologies (IDBEST), 2019/10/16, With Invitation, English, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  8. Ethics and regulations of human-animal chimera research, SAWAI Tsutomu, Open Round Table on Gene Editing, 2019/10/26, With Invitation, English, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  9. Public survey in Japan on human genome editing for clinical purposes, SAWAI Tsutomu; AKATSUKA Kyoko; HATTA Taichi; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2019 Conference, 2019/06/27, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  10. Public attitudes in the United States towards human-animal chimeric embryo research using human induced pluripotent stem cells to generate human organs for transplantation, Low, W.; Shen, F.; Brown, J.; Ruiz-Estevez, M.; Voth, J.; Sawai, T.; Hatta, T.; Fujita, M.; and Crane, A., ISSCR 2019 Conference, 2019/06/28, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  11. Public survey in Japan on human genome editing for research purposes, AKATSUKA Kyoko; SAWAI Tsutomu; HATTA Taichi; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2019 Conference, 2019/06/27, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  12. Attitudes toward the creation and use of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived gametes: A survey of the general population in Japan, HATTA Taichi; SAWAI Tsutomu; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2017 Conference, 2017/06/15, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  13. Expectations and concerns regarding the creation and use of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived gametes: A survey of the general population in Japan, SAWAI Tsutomu; HATTA Taichi; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2017 Conference, 2017/06/14, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  14. The ethics of human-animal chimera embryo research: A Japanese bioethical perspective, SAWAI Tsutomu, ASBH (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities) meeting 2016, 2016/10/06, Without Invitation, English, ASBH (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities), USA
  15. Acceptability of human-animal chimeric embryo research using human induced pluripotent stem cells: A survey among the public and researchers, HATTA Taichi; SAWAI Tsutomu; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2016 Conference, 2016/06/24, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  16. Humanized animals harboring human brain neurons and Germ Cells: A survey among the public and researchers, SAWAI Tsutomu; HATTA Taichi; FUJITA Misao, ISSCR 2016 Conference, 2016/06/22, Without Invitation, English, ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research), USA
  17. Public and researcher attitudes towards human-animal chimeric embryo research using human induced pluripotent stem cells, SAWAI Tsutomu; HATTA Taichi; FUJITA Misao, IAB (International Association of Bioethics) 2016 Conference, 2016/06/16, Without Invitation, English, IAB (International Association of Bioethics), Edinburgh, UK
  18. The ethics of research on stem cell-derived gametes: A Japanese bioethical perspective, SAWAI Tsutomu; Akatsuka Kyoko; SULLIVAN SPECKER Laura, ASBH (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities) meeting 2015, 2015/10/22, Without Invitation, English, ASBH (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities), USA
  19. Confucian views of genetic enhancement, SAWAI Tsutomu, Kyoto-Bristol Workshop (The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Comparing the British and Japanese Debate), 2014/05/01, With Invitation, English, Kyoto University, Japan
  20. Ecological ethics for a sustainable world: A comparison of 'Civil Religions' in America and Japan, SAWAI Tsutomu, The Tenth East-West Philosophers' Conference, 2011/05/19, Without Invitation, English, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA
  21. 'Habits of the Heart' in Sekimon-Shingaku: Ishida Baigan's religious experience, SAWAI Tsutomu, The 20th World Congress of International Association for the Study of History of Religion, 2010/08/19, Without Invitation, English, University of Toronto, Canada
  22. Difference of values and value of differences: A reconsideration of Bellah's 'Civil Religion', SAWAI Tsutomu, 2010 Uehiro Cross-Currents Philosophy Conference, 2010/03/19, Without Invitation, English, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

Awards

  1. 2020/01, The Second CiRA Encouragement Award, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University
  2. 2016/07, Outstanding Poster Award, CiRA Retreat 2016, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University

External Funds

Acceptance Results of Competitive Funds

  1. JST RISTEX, Responsible Innovation with Conscience and Agility, Experimental ELSI Research Toward the Future of Brain Modifications, 2022/10/01, 2026/03/31
  2. KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists, 2021/04/01, 2024/03/31
  3. AMED Brain Mechanisms and Integrated Technologies for Mental Health and Disease Studies (Brain/MINDS Health and Diseases), National Research Program for Neurological Disorders and Mental Health, Research for Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Human Brain Organoid Research, 2021/07, 2024/03
  4. The Mitsubishi Foundation, Research Grants in the Humanities, Research on ethical issues associated with human brain organoid research, 2022/04, 2023/03
  5. KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), 2017/04/01, 2020/03/31
  6. KAKENHI Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), A study on ethical, legal and social issues of stem cell medicine, 2014/04/01, 2017/03/31

Social Activities

Organizing Academic Conferences, etc.

  1. International Workshop: Ethics and Regulations of Heritable Genome Editing, 2022/12, 2022/12
  2. International Bioethics Symposium "Ethical, Legal, and Social issues of Human Brain Organoid Research and Application", 2022/12, 2022/12
  3. ASHBi Bioethics-Biology Fusion Workshop (Ethics of Early Developmental Research), 2021/11, 2021/11

History as Peer Reviews of Academic Papers

  1. 2022, Science and Engineering Ethics, Others, Reviewer, 1
  2. 2022, Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy, Others, Reviewer, 1
  3. 2021, Journal of Medical Ethics, Others, Reviewer, 1
  4. 2021, Cell Regeneration, Others, Reviewer, 1
  5. 2020, Journal of molecular medicine, Others, Reviewer, 1
  6. 2020, BMC Medical Ethics, Others, Reviewer, 1
  7. 2022, Gene and Genome Editing, Others, Reviewer, 1
  8. 2021, Neuroethics, Others, Reviewer, 1