National Institute for Physiological Sciences Takemura Lab Sensory & Cognitive Brain Mapping
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Lab News

About moving to Okazaki

Dear all,

On September 1st, 2021, I started my own laboratory at National Institute for Physiological Sciences. The institute is located in relatively small city, named Okazaki, which is located close to Nagoya and not too far from Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. It is small, but beautiful city with a clean river, cute castle and warm people. The institute is located on the top of small hill. The National Institute for Physiological Sciences has a long history and strong tradition in the fundamental research on physiology and anatomy. I am very honored to have an opportunity to join as a faculty member and start my own lab.

When I was a postdoc, it was difficult to imagine the situation to have my own lab by various reasons, but now it becomes true. I strongly appreciate all my mentors and collaborators, and most importantly the warm support from my family.

Takemura Lab has several essential goals. First, I would like to proceed the research, which fills the existing gap between neuroscientific methods, species and spatial scales of the measurements. Since one of the ultimate goals in neuroscience is to understand humans, it is important to understand how we can translate findings in smaller spatial scale into relatively coarse MRI measurements on the human brain.

Second, I would like to improve a current understanding on the structure-function relationship in the brain. In other word, I think that it is essential to understand how "software" (function) of the brain can emerge from "hardware" (anatomy), to truly understand brain function in relation to biological architecture. To achieve this goal, I would like to combine functional approach with structural/anatomical approach.

Third, I would like to proceed the research which will benefit the society. Collaborations with Jikei University on retinal disorder are one of ongoing examples. I strongly believe that Okazaki is the best venue to facilitate collaborations and I hope that such collaboration will eventually produce outcomes benefiting the society.

Lastly, I would like to work with graduate students for the bright future in this field. Over years, I have been worried that a number of junior Japanese Scientists, in a field of human brain mapping, have been small or becoming smaller (see this post). It is clear that without junior talents, the science will not be sustainable. I hope that the start of Takemura Lab at Okazaki, will become the begging of the rise of excellent junior scientists in this field, throughout the Ph.D. program (SOKENDAI program) and the training course system. Of course, this is not limited to Japanese students, as I support the diversity and am willing to host international graduate students.

The success of Takemura Lab needs the support from both domestic and international community. Fortunately, I have many excellent colleagues and friend all over the world and am looking forward to push collaborations further. Please feel free to contact with us and consider visiting Okazaki when the traveling becomes possible.

Sincerely yours,
Hiromasa Takemura
National Institute for Physiological Sciences