Dean, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
"It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
This is a quote by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There." The "Red Queen's Hypothesis" was proposed based on this quote (Van Valen, 1973). Organisms must continue to evolve, adapt to environmental changes, and compete with their competitors. Failure to adapt may lead to extinction. In addition, we see various changes in the surrounding environment, including climate change, the loss of biodiversity due to environmental destruction, and the global coronavirus epidemic. These changes have shown how fragile organisms can be. Therefore, it can be said that the importance of life science research is increasing daily.
Universities, graduate schools, and researchers continue to evolve in response to environmental changes. We constantly seek to change by introducing new knowledge and technology, building and improving research facilities, restructuring organizations, and promoting collaborations and exchanges. However, the objectives remain unchanged. They are to produce high-impact research results and develop students who can contribute to society.
The Graduate School of Life Sciences at Tohoku University was established in 2001 as a core center for life science research. It consists of three divisions: the Department of Integrative Life Sciences, which aims to elucidate mechanisms that control the mind and body; the Department of Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences, which analyzes the interaction between environmental changes and organisms; and the Department of Molecular and Chemical Life Sciences, which promotes innovation through chemical biology and genomic research. Our graduate school covers various research fields, from molecules to the biosphere. We study organic chemistry, molecular biology, genetics, genome science, cell biology, developmental biology, ecology, and evolution. In addition, we lay particular emphasis on neuroscience and ecology, which is different from that in other universities.
After the above quote, The Red Queen said, "If you want to get somewhere else, you must
run at least twice as fast as that!" Therefore, we will pursue new findings through further efforts.
Would you like to join us?
April 1, 2023