About Research Projects

The human genome sequence decoded by The Human Genome Project in 2003 and the identification of thousands of polymorphisms in the genome through the International HapMap Project brought in tremendous quantities of information in medical science. The human genome sequence was decoded, but the completion of the human genome sequence was just the starting point for new genome research making use of the information thus acquired. Research is advancing rapidly around the world using gene polymorphisms to accomplish such things as analyze disease predispositions and enable individualized medicine. However, the genome sequences of the Japanese people often differ in their polymorphisms from Westerners’, research based on the genomic sequences unique to Japanese is required to establish individualized medicine (or order-made medicine) for the Japanese. However, at the present time, we are faced with an acute shortage of trained scientists capable of shouldering the application of genomic variations in medicine.

Genomic information on hosts and pathogens is also indispensable to control emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. To overcome the global threat of infectious disorders, it is necessary to construct an international network of collaboration and to train young researchers with a variety of specialties from basic to translational research for the development of novel preventive measures and therapeutic approaches. By taking new research approaches such as proteomics and systems biology, and organically fusing these with medical genomics and animal disease model studies, we can hope to develop a more systematic understanding of disease and a rapid development of state-of-the-art medicine. By means of these sorts of new fusions, we will bring about technological innovation and developments toward the creation of new industries.

New international research centers targeted by the GCOE Realization of a healthier society by translating genome information to medical therapy

The Institute of Medical Science (IMS) is conducting world-leading research in various fields of the health sciences, including oncology, immunology/microbiology, and regenerative medicine, and has a variety of teaching staff capable of providing the highest quality of education. In particular, the Human Genome Center has been leading the international genome project such as Human Genome Project and International HapMap Project in collaboration with various centers for genome research around the globe. Moreover, the Center plays a central role in genome research in Japan by identifying the features and frequencies of polymorphisms in Japanese and by releasing the information to the public in the form of the Japanese SNP database (JSNP). In the field of research for infectious diseases, IMS maintains two international research centers. One is the International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, a center of the domestic network of Japan, while the other is the Research Center for Asian Infectious Diseases at Beijing, which is operated in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Both institutes conduct trailblazing research in their fields of the highest quality in the world. IMS is also conducting high quality collaborative research with the Institute Pasteur in France, the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Singapore and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing through official academic agreements. IMS also supports the management of Bio-Bank, the biggest bank of biomaterials in Japan, where a huge number of human samples indispensable for the development of individualized medicine are stored. The Research Hospital in IMS has long been conducting advanced clinical research in Japan. Collectively, IMS provides an ideal community, where students are able to obtain high quality instruction and training while engaging in research for the development of advanced medicine on the basis of medical genomics and interdisciplinary sciences.

Achievements of 21st Century COE Program
About Research Projects


Global COE Office
The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639 JAPAN
TEL: +81-3-6409-2028