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Message from the Director-General

message.png National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) is an inter-university research institute for research and education on human physiology, which investigates the functions and mechanisms of human body, carries out joint studies with scientists of domestic and foreign universities, and provides education and training for graduate students and young scientists. Research of human physiology can provide us with explanations of wonderful functions of our body, scientific guidelines for healthy living, and scientific knowledge that forms the basis for elucidating the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. The main subject of the current NIPS research is the brain and nervous system, because the brain is remarkably developed in human, and is the key organ that distinguishes human being from other species. The brain interacts with other organs to control and regulate our body. Research of brain is now starting to answer questions how we sense and perceive objects, how we remember things, how we think using language, and other questions; these questions have mystified our ancestors and us from ancient times. In fact, techniques of artificial intelligence has been developed on the basis of brain science. Also, research of brain is expected to provide us clues how to ease and circumvent problems in the coming unprecedented ageing society.

The NIPS advocates the following three major missions. The first mission of NIPS is to conduct cutting-edge research in the physiological sciences at many levels, ranging from the molecule to the system or whole organism, and to elucidate the mechanisms of living body function by integrating the research results from the different levels. Recently, life science is rapidly advancing, and its research field is becoming broader and more diversified. In such an evolving situation, we are trying to conduct a leading role in the physiological sciences and brain science both in Japan and abroad.

The second mission of NIPS is to promote the research in Japan, playing a role of research hub. The NIPS conduct joint studies with researchers from domestic or foreign universities and research institutes. The NIPS provides specialized equipments, such as newly developed electron microscopes and human brain imaging apparatus, to the researchers. The NIPS also provides various research resources including viral vectors for gene delivery and gene-modified rodents. The NIPS also holds workshops and international symposia to promote domestic and international research collaboration.

The third mission of NIPS is to educate and nurture young scientists. The NIPS is responsible for directing the 5-year Ph.D. course of study in physiological sciences in SOKENDAI (the Graduate University of Advanced Studies). In addition, the NIPS contributes to the training or education of graduate students and young scientists from many universities and research institutes (including private sector institutes) by providing various training and teaching courses.

In addition to these three missions, the NIPS extends its effort to international research collaboration and to publicize our scientific information. Please visit our website (http://www.nips.ac.jp/) for more information.

“To elucidate comprehensively human body functions by integrating the research results from the different levels” is the goal of the NIPS. We all are trying our best step by step to go forward for achieving this goal. Also, we will make every effort to keep the Institute open and cooperative for researchers. Your understanding, and continued support of our activities is cordially appreciated.

IMOTO, Keiji, M.D., Ph.D., Director General
1976 M.D., Kyoto University. 1980 Staff Doctor, Utano National Hospital, 1985 Assistant Professor of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University. 1995 Professor of Department of Information Physiology, NIPS and of Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Life Science, Sokendai . 2011 Vice Director General, NIPS. 2013 Director General, NIPS, and Vice President, NINS. Specialty: Neuroscience, Neurophysiology
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