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

Message from the Provost

Akira Hara Provost, Faculty of Medicine,
Akira Hara
Provost, Faculty of Medicine

I am Dr. Akira Hara, and as provost of the Faculty of Medicine this is my message to you.

The role of the Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine, which has more than 300 faculty members, was launched in October 2011 as one of the Faculty Organizations, which are our basic organizations for education and research. Graduate schools mainly played this role until October 2011, when the university was reorganized to establish 10 faculties. I am the third provost of the Faculty of Medicine, which has 3 divisions, namely the Divisions of Biomedical Science, Clinical Medicine, and Health Innovation and Nursing. The graduate schools, and the School of Medicine and School of Medical Sciences remain as educational organizations whose main mission is to educate graduate and undergraduate students, respectively. The mission of the Faculty of Medicine, therefore, is to harmoniously coordinate and support faculty in their teaching and research, to assess academic achievements, and to promote medical research.

Present and future themes

From April 2015, the number of teaching staff in each faculty and center will be managed under a point system, instead of the present regulations on staff numbers. The new system, though rather complicated, aims to solve staffing shortage problems. Right now, we are alleviating shortages with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and intend to increase until 2019 the number of students in the School of Medicine.

We aim to create a highest-level-in-the-world center of excellence for cutting-edge medicine by continuing successful research in our research groups and units in biomedical science, clinical medicine, nursing, and more . In 2011, we opened the Health and Medical Science Innovation Laboratory where cutting-edge research is in progress into the declining birthrate and aging society in Japan, improvements in regional medicine, health enhancement, and overcoming lifestyle-related diseases. Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, the pioneer of Cybernics and the robot suit HAL, is a faculty member of the Laboratory, which will remodel its research groups in 2016. Professor Masashi Yanagisawa, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern and a core researcher in behavioral molecular genetics in the Laboratory, is striving to unravel the mysteries of sleep and wakefulness as part of the World Premier International Research Center Initiative. In 2015, Professor Yasunori Kanaho will promote innovational medical research collaborating with industry at the Innovation Medical Research Institute. Furthermore, in 2015 clinical research will start at Tsukuba Clinical Research and Development Organization (tentatively TCreDO) collaborating with University of Tsukuba Hospital and other faculties. We will collaborate with these institutes and/or centers to promote medical research. In the future, we will try to build up new medical research centers for all divisions of the Faculty of Medicine and University of Tsukuba Hospital, instead of research groups or cores. For this purpose, building E and the Health and Medical Science Innovation Laboratory will be remodeled in 2015.

Our mission is to support the education of clinicians, medical researchers, medical staff, and medical business people. At the same time, we aim to return cutting-edge medical research results to society and thereby to contribute to the development of medicine and the welfare of humanity. The motto of the University of Tsukuba, Imagine the future, which also means to have respect for those with imagination to explore the future, symbolically represents what the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, should be.

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This page has been created with a help from Dr. Brian Purdue (MECC).