Greeting from the Dean of the Graduate School
ESTABLISHMENT AND HISTORY OF
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BIOSTUDIES
Life Science is the study of life in all of its forms and complexity. It encompasses the totality of life forms from viruses and bacteria to human beings, and its analyses involve molecules, genes, cells, tissues, living organisms, and eco-systems in diverse phases.Life is not a “molecular machine”. Therefore, it is necessary to bring the context of life into the research effort. It requires using various approaches, various disciplines, and various fields of study. In addition, those who wish to excel in the life sciences must bring to their studies a strong sense of ethics. Biostudies researchers must be more than manipulators of molecules.
Those trained in specialized disciplines within agriculture, medicine, and pharmacology, where studies in the life sciences were traditionally pursued in the past, have independently contributed greatly to the current knowledge base. These accomplishments notwithstanding, it is manifestly essential for researchers to place their work within the whole framework of “Life” and to encourage each other as people who love life. With such needs and expectations both internally and externally, the Graduate School of Biostudies was established in 1999, to engage in 21st Century Life Science as a comprehensive science.
It has been 15 years since the school was established. In that time, we have accepted numerous students and have sent into society graduates who were raised to be outstanding researchers through the leadership of our former deans, Kanji Ohyama, Mitsuhiro Yanagida, Kayo Inaba, Eisuke Nishida, and Shin Yonehara. Simultaneously, we have published many cutting-edge research findings.
In 2001, we were selected as an educational base of the MEXT Center of Excellence Formation Project (COE). This experience lead us to be selected as one of the schools of the 21ST Century COE Program（２１世紀COEプログラム） in 2002. Furthermore, we were selected as a school of the “Initiative Project for Attractive Education in Graduate School（魅力ある大学院教育 イニシアティブ事業）” and the “Support Program for Education Reformation of Graduate School（大学院教育改革支援プログラム）” in 2006 and in 2008, respectively.
We are proud of our educational program. With support from a variety of projects, we have been diligent to provide bold and efficient curriculums that reflect the students’ feedback and discussions with teaching staff and administrators, who are passionate to improve the graduate education system. We attach particular weight to nurturing students’ autonomous attitudes, allowing students to develop their own thoughts and originality, to have their own voice and points of view presenting their own ideas, and to solve problems with innovative approaches. New discoveries arising from their daily training should be shared at the global level. With this goal in mind, a foreign professor, who is a native English speaker and experienced in Life Science research, instructs students to improve their discussion, writing, and presentation skills. Students are encouraged to present their research at international meetings, and dissertations are now accepted in either Japanese or English.
Our research has been frequently cited and is ranked at the forefront of the global scene. Our faculty, who have diverse backgrounds, explore new directions of research, sharing their own knowledge, skills, and ideas with frank discussion in the appropriate forums of the public and research environment. We are actively collaborating with private/public sectors and are attracting competitive external public funding for research. At the same time, we strongly hope that the fruits of our research will contribute to social happiness.
Most of our laboratories are located at the South Campus and the North Campus, improving their research and education in the respective research complexes. Despite the physical distance between the campuses, the graduate students and teaching/administrative staff communicate closely, while upholding the tradition that respects diversity and free-ranging inquiry. This has also engendered a friendly and lively atmosphere to encourage each other.
All in all, we are pioneering a new Life Science with hope and responsibility. We recognize our responsibility and are full of hope and confidence that we can reach our goals. Although we are still a young organization, or perhaps because we are a young organization, we will do our best to bring our school mission and the research fields listed below to fruition. We sincerely appreciate your further support.
The three goals of the graduate school
(1) Provide education for pursuing the new biostudies at the world's top level
To meet the demands of the industry, college, research institutes and administrative organizations, individuals are educated in the life sciences and master the techniques for the society needs.
(2) Train individuals to apply the new life sciences for the protection of the global environment and for human welfare Integrate the knowledge and technology in the old fields of science, agriculture, medicine and pharmacology, and nurture individuals who can contribute to the human society in the 21st century.
(3) Nurture individuals who can understand the various vital phenomena of the living organisms as a systemic function, and pursue these systemic functions
Nurture individuals who will be leaders in the human society to pursue their activities for the welfare and happiness of humans in the 21st century, where humans will be living in harmony with other living beings.
In order to meet the demands of the changing society in the 21st century, which will be impossible to cope with in the current research academic system for the life sciences, a new research and education system is installed to breakdown the walls that have hindered the research in the life sciences in the past. There are two courses in the Graduate School of Biostudies.
(1) The Division of Integrated Life Sciences: cell development, cell growth, genetic information and cell cycle regarded as a multicellular system, and the totipotency, the mechanism of signal transduction and the responses among the cell, living being and environment.
(2) The Division of Systemic Life Sciences: neuroscience, animal development and physiology, immunobiology and others.
AIMS OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BIOSTUDIES
(1) Training of individuals with the most advanced knowledge of the life sciences for the next generation
The graduate student studies a higher level of life sciences beyond the structures of past life science-related fields at each undergraduate level to understand the integrated life sciences. The goal is to nurture a new type of individual with creative and innovative abilities to cope with the various unknown themes to be confronted by human beings in the next generation.
(2) Training to establish self for society
In the Graduate School of Biostudies, individuals are trained to make a healthy and fair judgment based on the academic background of the staff and their prospects for the future; and, establish a new system to evaluate the effects of education from multiple aspects from the past.
(3) Activation and flexibility of staff in the human relations
Research is pursued by each staff member independently to develop a new life science based on active exchange among the various laboratories in the graduate school.
(4) Use of current post-doctoral system and evaluation of academic activities
Full use should be made of the current system, to provide the increasing necessary number of instructors per student, for the intensive training to become life scientists at an international level, for true development of a new research field.