A Message from the Director
Director of Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences
In October 2016, former Institute for Virus Research and Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences were merged, and Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences was newly established.
Institute for Virus Research, being established in 1956, first identified adult T-cell leukemia virus/ human T-cell lymphotropic virus (ATLV/ HTLV) as the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), which was one of the representative achievements as a leading research institute in the field of viral infection as well as molecular biology in Japan. Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, being established in 1998, has developed innovative foundation for regenerative medicine by successfully establishing embryonic stem cells (ES cells) and discovering induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as well as regulatory T cells.
In 2008, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences was designated as Joint Usage/Research Center for Transdisciplinary Collaboration on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. And in 2009, Institute for Virus Research was designated as Joint Usage/Research Center for Fusion of Advanced Technologies and Innovative Approaches to Viral Infections and Life Science. Since then, these two institutes have individually functioned as a core of joint research among related scientists. On the occasion of the establishment of new institute, we are determined to further develop these important functions and to flourish as a research hub.
Since Japan has a rapidly aging society, establishment of measures against viral infection as well as regenerative medicine is undoubtedly the most urgent and priority task for the medical community in the nation. Though these two seem absolutely different, they are combined in the hidden dimension of “variously structured cell society” in the body. By exploring research in this dimension, our new institute is expected to contribute building a new research community for scientists and establishing a new foundation of medical technology.