The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo

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The Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo (IMSUT) evolved from its origin, the Institute for Infectious Disease in 1967. The mission of IMSUT is to advance our basic knowledge underlying infectious diseases, cancer and other intractable diseases and to ultimately controlling them. IMSUT consists of about 150 faculty members, 200 graduate students coming from various schools such as medicine, science, agriculture, pharmaceutical science, and engineering. To develop more effectively interdisciplinary research of basic life science and genomic medicine, IMSUT was reorganized on April 2000, consisting of three core departments (Microbiology and Immunology, Cancer Biology and Basic Medical Sciences), three centers (Human Genome Center, Center for Experimental Medicine, Advanced Clinical Research Center) and IMSUT Research Hospital. As a center for experimental medicine in Japan, IMSUT Research Hospital was reorganized on April 2001. IMSUT is conducting two types of research, both of which are essential for the institute covering the areas from bench to bedside; one is the individual research based on the creative activities of the scientists in core departments and the other is the highly organized goal- oriented research based on the activities of three centers and hospital. IMSUT introduced periodic evaluation system of the researchers and the term of the Principal Investigators' (Pis') research unit (such as Professor's or Associate Professor's unit). This restructuring of IMSUT is in keeping with rapid development of life science including genomics, proteomics, Rnomics (RNA engineering) and Cellomics (cell engineering). It is becoming imperative to develop both creative research of individuals and goal-oriented research in proper balance. In both cases, the most important element in science is the human resources and the environment encouraging the creatively of the individual scientists. Since 2000, IMSUT has been playing a key role in the Millennium Project of the Japanese Government. From this report, I hope you will find the current activities and the spirit of the IMSUT to advance the frontier of biomedical research including genomic medicine and cell therapy.