Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba -The Portal Site for Medical Research and Education

Message from the Dean

Mitsuyasu Kato, Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Mitsuyasu Kato
Dean, Faculty of Medicine

Forging a Tighter Medical Community Network at the University of Tsukuba

The University of Tsukuba has been leading the renovation of Japanese universities with it aim to be an excellent base for intellectual creation through its pioneering of interdisciplinary fields as well as its pursuit of deep academic specialization.

The Faculty of Medicine’s Master’s Program in Medical Sciences was the first of its kind to be offered in Japan to students with undergraduate degrees in subjects other than medicine. With this program, we gathered over 300 faculties together and established a variety of courses: Medical Sciences, Medical Physics, Translational Research, Public Health, and Human Care Science. We also joined with three other faculties—Human and Social Sciences, Art and Design, and Health and Sport Sciences—to establish an interdisciplinary graduate school, the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences. Furthermore, when the four-year undergraduate Schools of Nursing and Medical Sciences were established, many medical faculty members joined to teach in both the School of Medicine and the School of Medical Sciences, thus creating a powerful medical science undergraduate program, unique to our university.

I would like to follow this basic principle for the management of the medical faculty to promote networking and activate collaboration between the faculty’s and university hospital’s researchers. This networking and collaboration may prove key to accelerating the usage of the research unit system of the university to create larger research networks crossing over laboratories and to strengthen a research support system with selected core facilities.

We have now entered an era of shrinking population in Japan. Expansion policies do not work any more. Today it is increasingly important for Japanese universities to select what we do, simplify our work, concentrate on our common selected goals, and take our associations forward step by step. We need to cultivate a common strong will in all our members to improve our research and education society together.

More than 10 years have already passed since the opening of the Tsukuba Express train line. This train line has totally changed the situation of our city. We are now within one hour’s distance of metropolitan Tokyo, and our city has wonderful nature and an international atmosphere. I would like to say that in these ways Tsukuba is similar to academic cities such as Oxford and Princeton, even though it does not have the same long history. We should understand and utilize this advantage and incubate local culture as a science city, which can never be obtained by other universities in big cities or in provincial cities. We need to lead the other academic institutions and citizens of our city to create an atmosphere that will attract high school students in Japan and in the world to come and immerse themselves in study in this city.

Our faculty size and reputation are not comparable to some other universities with glorious histories. This gives us all the more reason to consider the importance of open communication and accumulation of wisdom of all our members. We have wonderful colleagues and so we should not hesitate to work on difficult problems. We will feel satisfaction and honor to be a driver of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba. And in this, I believe, will be the beginning of a long and fruitful history.