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Plenary Speakers


March 12│National Cheng Kung University, Tainan│09:30-10:45 

Making a Difference

Regina M. Benjamin, 18th Surgeon General of the United States, USA

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA is the Founder and CEO of BayouClinic, Inc., as well as  the NOLA.com/Times Picayune Endowed Chair of Public Health Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana, and from 2009-2013, served as the United States 18th Surgeon General. She specializes in prevention policies and health promotion among individuals as well as large populations, especially concerning obesity, childhood obesity, and children’s health. She has special interest in rural health care, health disparities among socio-economic groups, suicide, violence, and mental health.

Dr. Benjamin is former associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees.




March 13 │ Tunghai University, Taichung│13:30-14:45 

How to Achieve Sustainable Food Production?

Su-May Yu, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan


Dr. Su-May Yu is a molecular plant biologist who is working to reduce world hunger by improving rice yields. Her research activities are primarily focused on sugar, nutrient and O2 deficiency signaling and regulation in plants, rice functional genomics and biotechnology. She is a distinguished research fellow in Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica. According to Taiwan’s CTimes, Su-May’s work in rice genomics has earned her the title: “Godmother of Paddy Rice.”

For over 20 years she has been working with paddy rice gene transfers, looking for specific genes to help rice cope with environmental conditions like poor soil, drought, and temperature fluctuations. Dr. Yu has filed over 20 international patents on these fields and has also established the Taiwan Rice Insertional Mutagenesis Database, which has decoded 60,000 genetic mutations. Her work has raised rice yields by 40–50%.




March 15 │ Tzu Chi University, Hualien│09:30-10:45 

Earthquake: the Knowns and Unknowns

Kuo-Fong Ma, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Prof. Ma is a Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences & Institute of Geophysics, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and Chair Professor of National Central University. Her research interests include earthquake seismology, earthquake physics, engineering and seismotectonics. She currently serves the Chair of Chinese Geoscience Union, and former director of Taiwan Earthquake Research Center. She was also former chair of the Geological Society of Taiwan; and the Governing Board of Global Earthquake Model. She received several national awards, including the National Science Council Distinguished Research Award, National Award of Ministry of Education Academic Award in 2007, Outstanding Female Scientist Award in 2011; the National Professorship of The Ministry of Education in 2013.



March 16│National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei│13:00-14:15 

Sustainable and Healthy Life in Our Future - What Can We Do for Next Generations?

Fumiko Kasuga, Future Earth Secretariat, Japan

Fumiko Kasuga graduated from and received Ph.D. from The University of Tokyo. Formerly, she was Director at the National Institute of Health Sciences (2012-2016), and served as Vice-President of Science Council of Japan in charge of international activities (2011-2014). She is a member of International Council for Science (ICSU)’s Committee on Scientific Planning and Review since 2012. She has been working as a government researcher in the field of public health, in particular, microbiological risk assessment and epidemiology of foodborne diseases for food safety since she received Ph.D. in 1988 until March, 2016. Internationally she has been working in Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA), WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) and the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF), and in Japan for Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Food Safety Commission for food safety risk analysis.
Since 2013, she has been involved in establishing globally-distributed Secretariat of Future Earth, an international research platform for global sustainability, and is Global Hub Director – Japan since May, 2015. Through activities of Future Earth, she has been involved in several processes related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by United Nations and those by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.