Opening Ceremony

WHO Collaborating Centre for Elimination of

Asbestos Related Diseases 

89467 Announcement of WHO and ADRI Colla

In a world first, the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute based in Concord, Sydney has been designated by the World Health Organization as a Collaborating Centre for the Elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases.


This recognition by WHO confirms ADRI as a global leader in asbestos related diseases and asbestos mitigation. It’s world class team of researchers, scientists, public health experts and lung nurses have been pro-actively training and teaching health professionals through workshops in developing countries aimed to detect, diagnose and treat asbestos-related diseases since 2017.


The Collaborating Centre Designation was formally announced at a special ceremony at ADRI on 23 February 2021, in the presence of Her Excellency, Margaret Beazley QC, Governor of NSW.

Assistant Director General of the WHO, Dr Naoka Yamamoto says, 'The World Health Assembly Resolution has called for global campaigns to eliminate asbestos-related diseases and take action on the preventable cancers associated with this exposure. This requires building capacities in countries to improve knowledge and practices. The Who has worked with ADR and Professor Takahashi for many years on this important topics and we are pleased to see this working relationship is now formalized.'

Since it opened in 2009, ADRI has pioneered bio-medical, clinical, public health and community initiatives and programs domestically and internationally to eliminate asbestos related diseases.


While many think of asbestos use as part of Australia's history - almost 18 years since a complete ban on asbestos use was implemented in Australia - some 4,000 Australians lose their lives to incurable asbestos–related diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis each year.


Of these, around 800 people die from mesothelioma because despite receiving the best care and while maintaining hope, the unfortunate reality is they will quickly succumb to this preventable disease. The social and economic impacts to carers, families and the community are devastating.

The specialist research and science team examine the interaction between genetics and environmental factors to help explain how diseases like mesothelioma occur and progress; they test new ways to deliver cancer treatments to patients; and, they look at which treatments may have success in limiting tumor growth and why?

‘We believe it is our responsibility to reach outside our laboratory walls, across our own borders and beyond our shores to resource and educate developing countries about the dangers of asbestos and ways to protect their people,’ said E/Professor Ken Takahashi, Institute Director.  


‘Asbestos is still used widely in these regions so by delivering training in pathology, radiology, medicine, public health and nursing, we advance our mission to support the global effort to detect, diagnose and treat cases of asbestos-related disease, with particular emphasis on mesothelioma.  Taking what we have learnt from our own history in Australia and sharing that knowledge is critical and urgent.’  


E/ Prof. Ken Takahashi, MD PhD MPH

Director, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute

Head, WHO Collaborating Centre for Elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases


Image Gallery

Congratulatory Wishes

Full list of Congratulatory Wishes for Professor Ken Takahashi

Roberto Lucchini, MD Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine
School of Public Health, Florida International University, USA
University of Brescia, Italy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA
Juan Pablo Ramos-Bonilla, PhD Associate Professor Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes Colombia Melissa A. McDiarmid, MD, MPH, DABT Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Public Health Director, Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine University of Maryland School of Medicine USA Kurt Straif, PhD Retired, Scientist at ISGLobal and as a Visiting Professor and Co-Director of the Global Observatory on Pollution, Boston College IS Global, Barcelona, Spain Retired from the International Agency for Research on Cancer USA Eduardo Algranti, MD, PhD Medical Researcher, Division of Medicine Former Director, FUNDACENTRO Brazilian Ministry of Labor Brazil Morando Soffritti, MD Secretary General of the Collegium Ramazzini Previous Scientific Director and Honorary President, Ramazzini Institute Visiting Fellow, Royal Free Hospital United Kingdom Xaver Baur, MD Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine University of Bochum, University of Hamburg, Germany President, European Occupational and Environmental Medicine Society Germany Hisashi Ogawa, PhD Visiting Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan Former Team Leader in Environmental Health, WPRO, WHO, Philippines Asia Bengt Jarvholm, MD Dean of the Medical Faculty, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dept. of Public Health and Clinical Medicine Umea University Sweden Oyuntogos Lkhasuren, PhD Technical Officer, WHO Laos PDR Laos Somkiat Siriruttanapruk, MD, PhD Senior Adviser Bureau of Occupational and Environmental Diseases, Ministry of Public Health Thailand David Koh, MBBS, MSc, PhD, FFOM, FFPH, FFOMI, FRCPI, FAMS Professor, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (primary) and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (Joint), National University of Singapore Distinguished Professor of Occupational Health and Medicine, Universiti Brunei Darussalam Brunei Ms Linda Reinstein President, CEO and Co-Founder, Asbestos Diseases Awareness Organization USA Krishna Gopal Rampal MD, PhD Professor of Community and Occupational Medicine, University of Cyberjaya Malaysia Kouki Inai, MD, PhD Emeritus Professor, Hiroshima University President, Institute of Support Center of Remote Medicine President, Pathologic Diagnostic Clinic, Hiroshima President, Pathologic Center Inc Japan Gregory Wagner, MD Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mine Safety and Health, US Department Labor, Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH Director of the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies USA Masaya Takahashi, MD Director, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan Mr Sugio Furuya Secretary General, Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center Coordinator, Ban Asbestos Network Japan Coordinator, Asian Ban Asbestos Network Japan Kaoru Koike, MD, PhD Director of Hospital, Kyoto Medical Center, National Hospital Organization Former Chair and Professor Emeritus of Emergency Medicine, Kyoto University Japan Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP Director, Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good Director, Global Observatory on Pollution and Health Professor of Biology. Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society President, Collegium Ramazzini USA Eun-Kee Park, PhD Professor, Department of Medical Humanities and Social Medicine, College of Medicine, Kosin University South Korea Toshiaki Higashi, MD, PhD Former President and Professor Emeritus, University of Occupational and Environmental Health SOP/JSOH, Industrial Health Consultant Special advisor, Nishinihon Occupational Health Service Center Japan Odgerel Chimed-Ochir, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Epidemiology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan Kazuhide Ito, PhD Professor of Engineering, Kyushu University Japan Annette David, MD, MPH Senior Partner, Health Partners, LLC Guam Richard A. Lemen, MD Assistant Surgeon General (Ret.), Rear Admiral, USPHS (Ret.) USA Yutaka Otsuji, MD, PhD President, University of Occupational and Environmental Health Former Chair and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine Japan Domyung Paek, MD, MSc, ScD Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine School of Public Health, Seoul National University South Korea Yasuo Morimoto, MD, PhD Professor of Occupational Pneumology Head, WHOCC for Occupational Health Director, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan Pietro Comba, PhD Già Direttore, Reparto di Epidemiologia ambientale e sociale Dipartimento Ambiente e Salute Istituto Superiore di Sanità Fellow del Collegium Ramazzini Italy Sverre Langard, PhD Senior Researcher, Consultant, Former Professor Norway Brigitte Froneberg, MD Former Director and Professor German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Former InFocus Program on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment, ILO Germany Sergio Iavicoli, PhD Director, INAIL Research Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Secretary General, International Commission for Occupational Health Italy Jung-Der Wang MD, ScD Honorary Chair Professor Department of Public Health, National Cheng Kung University Taiwan Steven Markowitz MD, DrPH Professor, Commoner Center for Health and the Environment City University of New York USA