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About Us

Message from the Dean

Atsushi Higashitani
Dean, Graduate School of Life Sciences,
Tohoku University

  The life sciences are a collection of disciplines that combine the fundamentals of biology and its application in areas such as agricultural science, medicine, pharmacology, and engineering. The 21st century is considered as an era of life sciences. Ever since DNA was discovered to be the hereditary material in all life forms in the middle of 20th century, whole genome sequences of various organisms, from bacteria to humans, have been deciphered one after another in the past 15 years. In addition, analytical techniques to study biological phenomena have steadily undergone a series of advancements. However, new problems, such as global warming, loss of biodiversity due to environmental destruction, challenges associated with population aging, have piled up as new challenges ahead. 
  The philosophy and goal of this graduate school is, “to acquire a broad and balanced foundation for life sciences by practicing a new life science education and research methodology based on bioethics and developing efficient human resources to support new advances in life sciences.” We envision the development of global leaders with a high sense of ethics, who would contribute to the welfare of humanity and the conservation of global environment through work in various fields, such as industries, universities/research institutes, and administration by acquiring advanced knowledge and technology in the field of life sciences. The staff and the graduate students from Japan and abroad, perform research work collaboratively and contribute to the maintenance and improvement of prosperous human life by elucidating the principles and laws of new biological phenomena, thus making cutting-edge discoveries and transferring these back to the society. Above all, since inception, we have been working towards the promotion of research by launching four inter-disciplinary projects.

(1) Research on the construction and dynamics of the neural networks that supports higher brain function
(2) Research on the control mechanisms of biological signals and studying them at the molecular, cellular, and individual levels
(3) Research on the creation, maintenance, and preservation of higher-order life systems under changing environments
(4) Genomic and post-genomic research for a comprehensive understanding of higher-order biological phenomena

Since 16 years from its establishment, this graduate school has produced more than 1,700 alumni, including 337 PhD awardees, who are actively participating in research at domestic and international universities/research institutes, private sector research institutes/planning and development departments, administrative bodies, and so on. The Tohoku University aims to develop “A fellowship of knowledge, open to the world, where people can gather, learn, and create,” and as a part of it, we will continue to keep our doors open for young people to learn the life sciences and participate in world-class research.

April 1, 2017