dr. C. (Claudia) Surjadjaja

Claudia SurjadjajaDr. Surjadjaja is trained as an oral surgeon at Trisakti University (Jakarta) and practiced as Ministry of Health officer in Papua (Jayapura) before earning an MPH from Gadjah Mada University (Jogjakarta), an MSc in Medical Ethics from Imperial College (London), and a Dr.PH from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Epidemiology and Population Health). After working as a technical officer in the health division of Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat (Jakarta), she worked for USAID-funded HIV projects in Indonesia. She now directs the ALERTAsia Foundation, a not-for-profit organization promoting research on infectious diseases of importance in the region. She also serves on the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Research on the remains of (presumably) Japanese soldiers by The Eijkman Institute

An expert meeting was convened in May 2007 to discuss the future of a collection of remains of presumably Japanese soldiers found in Biak (Dutch New Guinea/Papua World War II). The Museum, through KITLV, contacted the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology in Indonesia to attend this expert meeting to discuss the possibility of conducting DNA research on the presumed Japanese remains. The Eijkman Institute expressed its interest to also study pathogen DNA of the remains from a community cemetery in Surabaya. However it was acknowledged that this scientific collaboration bore heavy medico-legal and ethical issues, e.g. do we need permission/ethical clearance to do the studies, what factors come into play, who are the stakeholders, who actually owns the remains, what to do with the remains post-study? Is it morally just to repatriate only after studies are conducted? The aim of this research was to document existing views and attitudes of likely stakeholders. The analysis and the recommendations were used to develop a research policy framework in the Tropenmuseum, including guidelines for embarking upon scientific collaboration with other institutes.