The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo

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Message from the Dean

Commencement of the Department of Medical Genome Sciences

2012-03-22

To all of you who are attending today, I wish to offer you my heart-felt congratulations on the achievements you have made in your studies to be awarded your degrees today from the Department of Medical Genome Sciences of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Frontier Sciences. At the same time, allow me to congratulate all the family members who have steadfastly stood by and supported you.
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As you're all aware, just about 10 days ago on March 11 we marked the one-year anniversary of The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. We deeply regret the terrible loss of so many noble lives. Furthermore, we express our sympathy for the many who suffered through the disaster, and even now continue to face severe living conditions. The University of Tokyo is doing what it can as an academic organization to contribute to the reconstruction of the disaster zone as well as the support of those hit by the earthquake. Through biomedical research, teaching and medical care, we too are participating continuously in this recovery, and united as an institute, plan to continue contributing both directly and indirectly.

Confronted with this sort of historical national ordeal, these times demand that the Japanese people, one-by-one, come up with various ways to rebuild Japan, boldly accepting the challenges we face. However, we are not asked only to inspire a spirit of challenge; instead, the University of the Tokyo, as the highest educational institution, must utilize its interdisciplinary and scholarly environment to lead creative challenges. I believe that IMSUT, too, must contribute its utmost efforts to Japan's recovery by taking advantage of its great strengths at the forefront of basic and clinical medical scientific research. By demonstrating the spirit of scientists we must find ways to overcome difficulties standing in the way of new discoveries. Today, I fervently implore all of you who have been awarded your degrees to feel anew the value of your diplomas and make use this grounding you each now have in your individual academic specialties to take up the creative challenges of contributing toward Japan's recovery.

As you may know, this year, 2012, is the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Infectious Disease, the forerunner of IMSUT, by Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato. In addition, it is the 45th anniversary of the reorganization and renaming of our institute to IMSUT by our wonderful, far-sighted predecessors. However, we don't wish just to look back on our history and celebrate it; rather we should consider all of this as only an incubation period and launching pad for greater historical achievements and continuous growth to come while respecting our tradition, and try to establish a new organization and system to become the kind of next generation of international-standard, internationally attractive and cutting edge medical science research institute. Here again, "Creative Challenge" is the key word. We promote this reorganization heading toward 2017, which will coincide with the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Infectious Disease and the 50th anniversary of the reorganization of our institute. This undertaking is called the "IMSUT One to Gogo (125/50) project" as I have been introducing at every opportunity. We are called on to work together unceasingly as IMSUT family members to advance our institute until it becomes the officially-acknowledged World NO.1 both as an organization and as an institute.

Just like IMSUT, you greet another milestone today, and with renewed spirit take another step. In English, a ceremony such as this when academic degrees are conferred is called "commencement." This word means "beginning or start"; in other words, it indicates the beginning of a new challenge. For everybody here today, today is not the end, but rather a new beginning. In the days ahead, some of you will advance your studies even further in the doctoral course, some who finished with the doctoral degree will continue on with research and teaching, and some will advance to completely other fields, but I believe that each of you will advance along your own path. As you embark into your new world, I think that your hearts will be filled with both excitement and anxiety, but whatever happens, summoning the intellect and ability accumulated during your studies in the MGS department, please continue to take up new challenges without fear of failure. Accept creative challenges. Making mistakes can itself lead to new discoveries and can offer a variety of new perspectives. With the knowledge and skills accumulated through your studies as your foundation, go on in each of your fields or industries to become unique, i.e. the "only one," and by continuing to grow in brilliance, lead society to a brighter future.
We are proud that every year we educate and produce talented graduate students and young scientists who will be leading the field of medical science in the near future. All of you who have been awarded your degrees today are the pride of the faculty members. Of course, in the days ahead, you are still expected to continue to work hard aiming to become NO.1 in the global competition. However, we sometimes win and of course sometimes lose in the international competition. When things don't go your way and you feel discouraged, please come back to your starting line and recapture your energy, then work harder to gain new ideas and novel findings to fight back in the world of scientific competition. IMSUT is your alma mater. Just like your home, you are always welcome here at IMSUT to recharge your energy for the next day.
By all means, follow the path of biomedical science, and continue to pursue creative challenges. With your overwhelming creativity, you can contribute toward the betterment of society not just in Japan but throughout the world, and I call on each of you to take an active leadership role in this task. Finally, I want to give you with unlimited hidden potential a gift of words, "C3/C; the creative challenge for commencement" and wish you continued success and happiness in the future. Please accept my congratulations.