Educational and Research ProjectsMedicine, Medical Science, and Genomic Medicine

Educational Projects

Research Projects

National Bio Resource Project


This project is one part of the National Bio Resource Projects (NBRP) in Japan for more than 20 species including animals, plants, microbes, tissues and DNAs. It is founded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monkasho) and started in 2002. The major purpose of this project is to collect, preserve, and provide bio resources (such as experimental animals and plants) that are essential experimental materials for life sciences research. The project also aims to improve the bio resources by increasing the value of bio resources through enriching genome information and developing fundamental technologies for preservation and other necessary procedures. The Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, is the central facility for the species rat.

  1. Collection, preservation and provision of rat strain information.
  2. Improving bio resources by increasing the value of bio resources through enriching genome information.
  3. Measuring parameters for functional characterization of deposited rat strains.
  4. Quality assurance through microbial and genetic monitoring conducted with all strains.
  5. Coordination of research using deposited rat strains.
  6. Overseas promotion of cryopreservation and assisted reproductive technologies.
  7. Exchanging information around the rat in annual Rat Resource and Research Meeting.

NBRP-Rat contributes as the world’s largest rat repository to various fields of biomedical research. A catalogue of comparable, standardized and well characterized rat strains will lead to new and more precise research topics as well as it will facilitate biomedical sciences, drug discovery and advanced chemical research not only in Japan but worldwide.

Project ManagerMasahide Asano, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine

Project TermApril 2012 – March 2026


Kyoto Regional Centre for Japan Environment & Children’s Study

The Science for RE-designing Science

Japan has been promoting science and technology (S&T) for 15 years under three successive Science and Technology Basic Plans. The 4th Basic Plan also provides for the “integrated development of science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy”. In furthering the relationship of S&T to society, it is necessary to carry out STI policy, as part of policies for society and the public good, with the broad participation of citizens, gaining their understanding and trust.

Program for Education and Research on Science and Technology in Public Sphere (STiPS)

Kyoto University, with Osaka University, was selected as one of the sites for the human resource development of “SciREX: Science for RE-designing Science, Technology and Innovation Policy” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. The program aims to promote international-level research and human resource development at the graduate schools selected as the Hub Institutions for educating experts of evidence-based policy making as well as researchers who shall deepen and expand the emerging research field of “science of STI policy”.

In February 2012, a unit for “Program for Education and Research on science and Technology in Public Sphere” was set up in the Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research in Kyoto University.

To establish science and technology innovation policies, it is necessary to develop evidence based policymaking not only by evidences based “quantifiable data” including the methodology of technology assessment but also process of public engagement in science and technology with deliberation “intensive debate” by various stakeholders including citizens.

Our educational program from 2013 establishes a minor specialization as a part of existing master’s programs with the aim of developing 2 types of human resource; “link” between different academic disciplines, and “link” among academics, policy and society with a focus on ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) in science and technology.

Research for creating policies that inspire innovation and solve social issues

Conceptual diagram of the decision-making from the various regions With regard to the research for focusing on ELSI in science and technology, graduate students will engage in important theme such as prioritization among different policy issues and optimization of allocation of limited resource.

Conceptual diagram of evidence-based innovation policy

With regard to the research for developing evidence-based innovation policy, visualization is one of the essential methodology for solve the social issues. Graduate students will also focus to the circulation of the collecting real-world data, creating database, analyzing including technology assessment, creating evidences, generating policies, and formulating hypothesis. These methods are also considered useful of various fields including energy, environment, agriculture, food products, engineering, and space science.

In order to achieve our missions, we assume that there is an urgent need to foster personnel who are capable enough to think beyond their own specialized fields, and to meet science and technology and social challenges from comprehensive and diversified perspectives. We also address to develop human resources with knowledge, sense and practical capacity to conduct activities and research on public engagement and possible career paths on completion of the program expect various research positions; government jobs; position as a policy secretary: think tank employee; university research strategist; and risk communication staff; and more.

Industry-Academia Collaboration Project

Industry-Academia Collaboration Courses

Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization

Opened in April 2002, the Office addresses the issue of how research achievements can be best returned for the benefit of society. This aim can be said to be one of the three major objectives of national universities; the first two being the education and the research itself. Excavating the seeds of innovation born within the medical field (centering around the Graduate School of Medicine) the office contributes to the development of improved healthcare by matching the university seeds with the market and industrial needs for collaborations. The KUMBL Office consists of the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine and the Incubation Plaza. The objective of the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine is to promote further advances in the development of medical treatment and technology. It bridges the faculties in the medical field with industry through compiling university research and knowledge and emitting them to the outside. The office engages itself in many other technology transfer activities such as gathering information on ongoing research and projects, and assisting university researchers with patent applications, licensing and collaboration. Also providing support for contract negotiation and setting up of the start-up business, the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine functions as a one-stop shop for university-academia collaboration for the medical field. The Incubation Plaza is a committee (Incubation Program Committee) consisting of Kyoto University, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Sumitomo Corporation that aims to put advances in medical research into practical applications within society. The plaza creates start-up business by selecting the researches, which holds promising business potential and investing the funding from Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Corporation into them. Through collaboration with the new start-up, it further promotes the establishment of future university spinouts and advances in further research.

To Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Office Website

Medical Innovation Center

To: Medical Innovation Center Website

Expired projects

AK Project: Center for Innovation in Immunoregulative Technology and Therapeutics Expired

The morbidity of patients with the allergic diseases is now reaching almost one third of the total Japanese population. It has also been reported that more than 200 million people suffered from these diseases in the advanced nations. Further, several kinds of cancer still have high mortality rates and there are many patients suffering from intractable immunological diseases including autoimmune diseases. It is evident that establishment of safe immunoregulation technologies is required for the development of organ transplantation and regenerative medicine, which are expected to be medical cures of the next generation. Some of the critical processes for the drug development in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry still remain at a bottleneck, including discovery and identification of the novel target molecule for the drug discovery, rational drug design and synthesis, compound conversion technology, validation procedures for drug candidates in medical applications, technology to evaluate the advantages of biological drugs, and efficient translational research. In order to overcome these fundamental issues and discover new drugs to cure above severe diseases, the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University is starting to develop innovative “immunoregulative drugs and technologies” by co-researching with one of the biggest Japanese pharmaceutical companies Astellas Pharma Inc. Kyoto University and Astellas will work jointly to achieve the break-through innovations in drug discovery system and innovative drugs of the next generation.

This innovation center has been adopted to the program, “Formation of Innovation Center for Fusion of Advanced Technologies,” funded by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST) under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

To: Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization Website

CK Project: Innovative Techno-Hub for Integrated Medical Bio-Imaging Expired

Kyoto University/Canon Joint Research Project (CK Project) is a joint project between Kyoto University and Canon for promoting close industry-academia collaboration to foster researchers and technicians who can effectively work in the integrated medical engineering fields and achieve advanced interdisciplinary innovations especially in the fields of diagnostic imaging technology for early detection and prevention of diseases in order to create a healthy society.

It has been adopted under the name “Innovative Techno-hub for Integrated Medical Bio-imaging” as part of the “Creation of innovation centers for advanced interdisciplinary research areas program” supported by the MEXT Budget for the Promotion of Science and Technology. Its purpose is to support industry-academia collaborative research and development in the field of interdisciplinary medicine and engineering. To produce advanced technologies that can lead to creation of new industries over the long-term, the project is carried out on a 10-year plan from basic research to commercial applications.

Many teaching staff members of the departments in the School of Human Health Science have been involved in the CK Project since the time of its foundation. Especially, MRI and ultrasound laboratories in the basement operate as the research center in Yoshida Campus and have played active roles in important challenges, such as the development of next-generation diagnostic ultrasound imaging devices, advanced diagnostic imaging support systems, and other original elemental technologies. As a result, the CK Project was selected as one of the four projects in Japan to continue its research after the review on the third year, so as to further proceed with research and development.

In addition to pursuing research results, the CK Project is also expected to facilitate organizational reforms and system reforms concerning education and research at Kyoto University. With regard to education, Advanced Medicine Engineering Research Unit was established (in 2007) as a multi-faculty organization for fostering multilingual experts in engineering, medicine and informatics. Furthermore, the Graduate School of Engineering’s integrated biomedical engineering course (2008) and the Graduate School of Medicine’s medical engineering informatics joint course (2008) were established in addition to the existing curriculum for the teaching staff of the Graduate Schools of Engineering, Medicine, and Informatics to jointly foster talent in multi-disciplinary medical engineering fields.
As an effort to improve the research and development environment, we have begun preparations to establish a clinical research center in the hospital district to perform the clinical research and feedback concerning the innovative diagnostic imaging devices and molecular probes developed in the course of the CK Project, as well as an integrated medical engineering education and research center in the Kyoto University campus as a world-class research base with the capacity to give ORT (On-the-Research Training). Along with the clinical research centers described above, it will give Kyoto University a world-class education and research center in integrated medical engineering. In 2008, the project proposed by Kyoto University to create innovative devices for diagnosis and treatment through imaging technologies was adopted as an advanced medical development zone (Special Zone). This zone focuses on studies concerning the use of optical imaging devices under development in the CK Project. Use of this zone is expected to speed up and improve the CK Project activities.

Executive project managerHiroshi Matsumoto (President of Kyoto University)

Chief executive officerShinzaburo Ito (Graduate School of Engineering)

Group leaderNagahisa Yoshimura (Graduate School of Medicine)

Retinal imagingNagahisa Yoshimura (Graduate School of Medicine)

Ultrasound and photoacoustic ImagingTsuyoshi Shiina (Graduate School of Medicine)

Atomic magnetic sensingTetsuya Matsuda (Graduate School of Informatics)

Diagnostic imaging support systemKaori Togashi (Graduate School of Medicine)

Molecular probeTeruyuki Kondo (Advanced Biomedical Engineering Research Unit)

Bioimaging deviceOsamu Tabata (Graduate School of Engineering)

Translational researchAkira Shimizu (Graduate School of Medicine)

CK Project website

TMK Project: Laboratory for Kidney Research Expired

Our research teams are focusing on the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the discovery of the therapeutic approaches towards CKD. Due to limited understanding of its pathophysiology, the current medication globally available does not always give enough satisfaction to patient with CKD, which fails to attenuate the increase in the number of patients with end-stage renal disease. Knowing the precise biochemical and molecular mechanism(s) underlying the pathogenesis of CKD enables us to find appropriate therapeutic approaches. Thus, our research purpose and goal are to figure out how CKD starts and progresses, and to find out the way(s) to counteract or reverse the progression. To reach this goal, integrated collaboration with pharmaceutical industry is in progress upon a five-year credit.

Project LeaderProfessor Motoko YANAGITA, MD.Ph.D. Graduate School of Medicine

Sub-leaderToshiaki AKIRA, Ph.D., Professor specially appointed by Graduate School of Medicine.

Industrial PartnerMitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Kyoto University

Duration5 years (with review at 3 years)
Basic agreement on institution-level collaborative R&D signed March 11, 2011

DSK Project: Laboratory for Malignancy Control Research Expired

Cancer is probably inevitable in organisms that have flexible mechanisms in regulating development, growth, and tissue repair. Malignant behaviors of cancer cells, however, must be controllable. In this project, we focus on several promising areas of cancer research (e.g., angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, hypoxia-response, epigenetics, alternative splicing, and bioinformatics) to elucidate the essential features and molecular bases of malignant phenotypes associated with cancer cells. Our aim is to make the best use of such knowledge as rapidly as possible in the clinic.

Project LeaderProf. Makoto Noda, Graduate School of Medicine

Laboratory ChiefProf. Hiroshi Hiai, Graduate School of Medicine

Industrial PartnerDainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd.

TermApril 2011 – March 2016

To: DSK Project: Laboratory for Malignancy Control Research Website