The government of Japan has acknowledged Kyoto University’s status as a leading international research institution by selecting the university for several-government sponsored projects. The university was one of five to be selected for the World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Initiative, which aims to foster globally visible research centers with excellent facilities and attract leading researchers from around the world. Kyoto University was also selected for the government’s Global Centers of Excellence (GCOE) Program, which aims to enhance the level of education and research in Japan’s graduate schools, and foster young researchers who will excel on the international stage. Here we present some representative projects which are being undertaken with the assistance of these government initiatives.
Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS)
Selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) under its World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Initiative, the iCeMS aims to advance the integration of cell and material sciences in an innovative global research environment. This groundbreaking work focuses on mesoscopic space, a realm of interactions among large molecules and within cells and cell systems. The institute’s scientists strive to integrate the biosciences, chemistry, material science, and physics to harness meso-control of functional architectures and stem cells. Regular international seminars, in English, present the latest developments in the field and are open to all interested researchers.
Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA)
Kyoto University’s breakthrough research into induced Pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has garnered attention from scientists, pharmaceutical institutes and business organizations. In April 2010, CiRA will be expanded into a full research institute. The new facilities will include a cell processing center and a laboratory animal facility. Although the field is still in its infancy, Kyoto University aims to be a leading center of basic and applied research into iPS cells.
Formation of a strategic base for biodiversity and evolutionary research: from genome to ecosystem
We are developing novel approaches to study evolutionary processes based on comparative genomic research, and aim to establish new academic fi elds of “BIODIVERSITY” for experimental evolutionary biology using gene-technology. Based on these studies, we would like to establish an international strategic base and be at the forefront of this new area of multi-disciplinary research.
Global Center for Education and Research on Human Security Engineering for Asian Megacities
Through this fi ve-year program, Kyoto University aims to establish the new discipline, “Urban Human Security Engineering,” and create a network of research and education bases throughout Asia. We will make a signifi cant contribution to solving human security issues in Asian megacities.
Energy Science in the Age of Global Warming – Toward a CO2 Zero- emission Energy System
In order to secure energy and conserve the environment, the discipline of“ Low carbon Energy science” is necessary, as an interdisciplinary fi eld integrating social science and human science with the natural sciences. This program aims to establish an international education and research platform to foster educators, researchers, and policy makers who can develop technologies and propose policies for a scenario toward a CO2 zero-emission society.
For other GCOE programs at Kyoto University, please refor to: http://www.rpd.gcoe.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ (Japanese)