The International Research Center for Medical Sciences (IRCMS) was launched in Kumamoto University in 2015. This institute was established by the former President of Kumamoto University and led by the former director of IRCMS, Dr. Toshio Suda. Despite Kumamoto earthquake that occurred in 2016, we have established an open lab system and a core-facility with state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, in order to facilitate cross-lab communications and collaborations, and to enhance research efficiency/activity, respectively. As a result, we have successfully published a number of papers in high profile journals the last 8 years. We have 12 PIs with more than 52% of international and 37% female researchers. Our institute has hosted many international seminar/symposiums by inviting domestic and international researchers from many countries.
Our research theme is Stem Cell Biology, Development and Cancer, and Aging, and we aim to bridge basic research with translational medicine. Kumamoto University has several unique research institutes in surrounding area, including the Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics (IMEG) covering stem cell and developmental biology research, the Joint Research Center for Human Retrovirus Infection, and the Institute of Resource Development and Analysis (IRDA) with advanced transgenic and knockout mouse technologies. IRCMS is collaborating with these research institutes along with the School of Medicine and the University Hospital nearby.
IRCMS identity is global communication with world-class institutions and researchers around the world and fostering next generation researchers. To increase international recognition of IRCMS, we are collaborating with them and exchanged many young graduate students and postdoctoral scientists with our partner institutes abroad, many of whom are now postdocs and professors working in different institutions in different countries. To recruit motivated, talented researchers, we provide hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students through "IRCMS research Internship", which has been becoming very popular and more and more competitive these days. Young researchers are actively involved in institutional organizations, such as weekly institutional seminars, journal clubs, many social events and so on. We hope IRCMS would serve as a model institute pioneering and revolutionizing biomedical researches in Japan.
Hitoshi Takizawa, Ph.D.
Director, International Research Center for Medical Sciences