Director KAWAOKA Yoshihiro
Outbreaks of emerging viruses such as influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and SARS-CoV-2 have made us aware that the emergence of infectious diseases overseas can be a major threat to us living in Japan. To control such emerging infectious diseases, we need to develop methods for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, including isolation and identification of the pathogen. For this purpose, basic research is essential to discovering the nature of the causative pathogen. Research institutions at universities must actively conduct basic research on such emerging infectious diseases and share their findings so that infectious control experts can respond promptly when emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases occur. Against this background, the International Research Center for Infectious Diseases was established in 2005 at the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, and the Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University. The joint research system serves as a base for advanced medical and biological research on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and for training infectious disease researchers. The center consists of two research departments and the “Pathogen Microbes Repository Unit”.