Dr Maki Umemura 

Dr Maki Umemura is a lecturer in International Business and Japanese Studies at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University. She obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics. Her research interests are in biomedical innovation, the healthcare industry (pharmaceuticals, medical devices), and business history. She has written a book and a number of articles on the Japanese pharmaceutical industry.


Maki’s current research builds upon her earlier work on the multi-level analysis of innovation systems in Japanese pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and illustrates how the governance of biomedical innovation in Japan has been evolving from a closed to open system, and expanding from the state at the central, national level, to regional and global levels. Her research looks closely at regenerative medicine, and specifically on iPS stem cell treatments in eye disease/macular degeneration, as this treatment is considered relatively close to clinical application – and is an area where Japanese scientists are conducting pioneering research. For the purposes of the Rising Powers project, she considers how these changes in the Japanese system has impacted the governance of biomedical innovation in China, India and the UK.