Director's Message

Stratified medicine for a healthy long-lived society. Creation of a research platform for new biomedical science.

Japan is facing urgent health issues, such as lifestyle-related diseases, various cancers and brain-function disorders, in an increasingly aging society. It has become apparent that the human immune system not only relates to autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and allergies, but also to many other age-related disorders. It is now thought that disease onset is caused by highly complex combinations of environmental stresses and body reactions, in addition to genomic variations, in each individual.

At the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS), we aim to clarify the pathogenic mechanisms underlying human diseases and to translate this knowledge into novel therapies for the benefit of society. IMS will tackle various research questions to expound the functions of the human genome and immune system. IMS research is based on the concept of disease as a dynamic body system interacting with environmental stresses. We will create a research platform to clarify the processes that maintain or disrupt body homeostasis and then transfer that knowledge into the creation of new therapies and medicines.

In particular, IMS will strengthen its genome and immunology research platforms through new inputs from functional genomics research, with special emphasis on gene expression networks such as the FANTOM project. Based on this new research platform, IMS will integrate the knowledge of both human genome function and immune system, and lead cutting edge science to solve the problems of various diseases.

IMS will promote comprehensive multi-layered analysis of the genome, epigenome, proteins, lipids, cells, organs and individuals. IMS will statistically and computationally analyze the vast amounts of these advanced complex data. The results will be translated, as applicable, to hospitals and other medical institutions. In addition, IMS will develop a research platform for human immunology. With this platform, results obtained from mouse and other experimental animal models are translated to humans, and disease mechanisms identified from human research will be recapitulated in mouse models and cell culture systems. Using this combination of technologies, IMS will expand the research field for next-generation cancer immunology.

In collaboration with domestic and international research institutions and industries, IMS will create a research platform that contributes to the next generation of medical science and to a healthy long-lived society in Japan.
Kazuhiko Yamamoto
RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Kazuhiko Yamamoto