Center of Education and Research for the Advanced Genome-Based Medicine
― For personalized medicine and the control of worldwide infectious diseases
- Human Genome Center, International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Amami Laboratory of Injurious Animals, The Advanced Clinical Research Center, Dept. of Cancer Biology, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Inst. of Medical Science, Genome Science Division, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology
- Project Leader：
- Prof. KIYONO, Hiroshi （Institute of Medical Science ）
The human genome is, in essence, a map for the design of human life. It includes individual-specific information as well as species-specific information. This information is useful not only for the development of novel approaches to medicine including diagnosis, treatment and prevention, but also for the realization of personalized medicine. However, the methods are not yet established for extracting and using this information, and the coordination of various fields of learning and technology is required. An important backdrop to genome research is the necessity for international cooperation amidst revolutionary technological innovations. The deciphering of the entire human genome was completed through international cooperation in 2003. Since then, the enormous number of genetic polymorphisms uncovered by the International HapMap Project have led to the discovery of genes associated with susceptibility to common diseases. Another international collaboration project was launched in 2008 to put together a Cancer Genome Atlas cataloging genetic abnormalities underlying cancer. Technological innovations for genome sequencing and analysis have advanced in parallel with such international cooperation, and it is becoming ever easier to obtain genomic information at previously unthinkable speeds and scales. However, given the present state of medical science in Japan, there is a pronounced shortage of talented individuals able to take this enormous wealth of genomic information, and in a climate of international cooperation, fully exploit it to promote human health and extend life-spans; the training of such individuals is lagging.
Through its global COE, the Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo is undertaking the training of capable young individuals for the multiple roles needed. This training will equip the individuals to develop deep insight into the medical applications and implications that the torrent of information holds, and then, in a context of international collaboration, to chart the implementation of improved therapeutics for society. In translating genomic information into medical applications, international cooperation on the one hand, accompanied by fierce international competition will spur on the creation of new industries. In order for Japan to foster future medical therapies and industries, programs to cultivate the needed human resources are essential. We are making use of the distinctive traditions and position of the Institute of Medical Science’s Human Genome Center and infectious disease research to train such individuals.