The National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) is an inter-university research institute focused on research and education in human physiology. The NIPS promotes collaborative studies amongst both National and International researchers and organizations to together help understand body functions and their mechanisms. Research at NIPS also provides further understanding of the fundamental mechanisms causing diseases, to enable new and improved treatments for these diseases and their symptoms.
A major focus of current research at NIPS is to understand the brain. Brain, most developed in human among all the creatures, is critical for how we detect, respond and adapt to our environment, through the processes of sensation, motor control and learning and memory. However the brain also directs our individual behaviours and desires, and how we communicate with each other socially through language and emotions. Furthermore, the brain also interacts with our visceral organ systems to regulate body homeostasis, and research at the NIPS also aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of body homeostasis through our research on the regulation of the cardiovascular system, of the body and cellular metabolism, on temperature control and on how we regulate our biological defences against damage and pathogens. The NIPS strives to advance our understanding of brain function and body homeostasis, from the molecular, cellular, organ and whole body and society levels, and we provide and develop cutting-edge research technology, including computational and mathematical approaches, to achieve these strategic goals.
The NIPS advocates the following three major missions.
The first mission of NIPS is to conduct cutting-edge research in the physiological sciences across various levels from the molecular and cellular through to organ systems, and to integrate this multi-level information to understand homeostasis in the living body. As research in life sciences has become diversified and “translatable”, NIPS aims to conduct world-leading research focused on the basic medical sciences, especially physiology and brain sciences. To apply and develop rigorous basic research techniques necessary to answer fundamental questions is also part of our mission.
The second mission of NIPS is to play the role of a National and International research hub. The NIPS conducts collaborations with scientists at universities and research institutes to further strengthen and enhance research expertise in Japan at a leading global level. To achieve this goal NIPS also encourage collaborations with foreign researchers, and we provide and develop specialized and cutting-edge research techniques and equipment to facilitate these collaborations. The NIPS provides advanced devices in areas including electron and laser microscopy for subcellular through to human imaging, and in transgenic animals and viral vectors. The NIPS also supports advanced research workshops in various fields to help establish and support research collaborations, discussions and advances and sharing of knowledge. Through these activities the NIPS is a hub for domestic and international research communities to intercommunicate and support each other.
The third mission of NIPS is to provide advanced and thorough education for young scientists. The NIPS is responsible for the 5-year PhD course in physiological sciences of the SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies). The NIPS also provides further education for graduate students and young researchers from other universities and industries in Japan and Internationally, for education through various research training programs that include the annual NIPS Training Course and via NIPS Internships.
To understand human body functions and to apply our extended knowledge to support human life is our ultimate goal. NIPS will make every effort to open our institute to every research community that can work together with us towards this goal. For this purpose, your understanding and support will be appreciated.
Junichi Nabekura, MD, PhD, Director General
1981 MD, Kyushu University, 1987 PhD, Kyushu University, 1987 Postdoc Researcher, Washington University, 1991 Assistant Professor, Tohoku University, 1993 Associate Professor, Akita University, 1995 Associate Professor, Kyushu University, 2003 Professor NIPS, 2013 Vice Director General, NIPS, 2019 Director General, NIPS and Vice President, NINS. Specialty; Neurophysiology
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