Dean’s greeting

Challenge the mysteries of life!

Life science is the study that tries to understand “the mechanism of life”. The mechanism of life can be described as the rules of all life phenomena that have been created over the 4.6 billion years since the birth of the earth. The rules of life phenomena are unbelievably amazing. For instance, the genomic DNA in a cell is automatically and accurately duplicated in S phase, and then divides into two cells on its own. When the sperm and egg are fertilized, the fertilized egg begins cell division automatically, causing differentiation, proliferation, migration, and cell death precisely in a spatio-temporal manner and automatically creates the exact individual animal. It is as if life is defying even the second law of thermodynamics, a major principle of the universe. In fact, there is much we do not understand about how such a mysterious phenomenon occurs. Yes, there are many life phenomena that we take for granted in textbooks, but the details of their rules are surprisingly unknown. Moreover, important life phenomena that were previously unknown or overlooked are being discovered every year. Thus, life science is truly a treasure trove of research. On top of that, a single big discovery in life science can change the world instantly. In fact, we have just witnessed one such example with the development of an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19, which was resulted from the latest basic research. Of course, life science is not only for curing human diseases. The discovery of new mechanisms of life opens up the possibility of significant contributions to the welfare and happiness of humankind, and even the earth itself, through its application. Above all, the pleasure and excitement of discovering a new mechanism of life is incomparable to anything else. You may be moved by the precision of life, bow down in awe at its mystery, and think of the evolutionary history of living systems. If you publish it in a paper to the world, your discovery will be recorded forever as the knowledge of humankind. I believe that life science is so interesting and exciting that we do not even need to consider about the major principles of the universe!

The Graduate School of Biostudies (GSB) was established in April 1999 as Japan’s first independent graduate school for life sciences with the aim of promoting world-leading life science researches and fostering human resources beyond the traditional framework of Science, Agriculture, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Medicine. Since then, for the past 24 years, leading researchers in various fields of life sciences have led their laboratories and achieved world-leading discoveries together with students and staffs. In 2018, to further expand our research scope and educational area, the Radiation Biology Center and the Research Center for Dynamic Living Systems were established. We also established industry-university joint laboratories to promote social implementation of research results. In April 2023, we launched the Center for Living Systems Information Science (CeLiSIS), which is a developmental reorganization of the Research Center for Dynamic Living Systems. CeLiSIS will promote new researches that will lead data-driven life science, as well as create a university-wide hub for fostering “two-way players” who can simultaneously acquire big data through experimental science and perform information analysis, thereby playing a leading role in the digital transformation in life sciences.

In addition, the GSB offers various programs to support students’ research and education globally, such as remote lectures with overseas universities, a program for sending students abroad, international student seminars organized by students, a program to support international students, and a system for transferring credits and promoting joint researches through inter-university agreements. We invite you to join us and challenge the mysteries of life at the GSB. Beyond that, an exciting life far beyond your expectation may await you!

Dean, IGAKI, Tatsushi