Dean, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine/ School of Medicine

Graduate School of Medicine/School of Medicine is located in Kobe, the city with a population of 1.5 million, which looks toward an international center for medical industries. Also, the School is the sole medical school belonging to a national university corporation in Hyogo Prefecture with a large population of 5.6 million, which consists of both urbanized areas facing the Seto Inland Sea including Kobe and relatively rural areas facing the Sea of Japan. The School was founded in 1944 and has been nurturing internationally active researchers in the fields of life and medical sciences as well as clinicians equipped with sophisticated medical knowledge/skills and high ethical standards.

The School has been recognized as a world leader in research on biomembranes and intracellular signal transduction, which was built on the achievements of the late Dr. Yasutomi Nishizuka, a former President of Kobe University famous for his discovery of protein kinase C. In recognition of these achievements, the School was awarded with two Global COE (Center of Excellence) Program Grants in the life science field and the medical science field from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (MEXT) of Japan. Now the School is extending its research to develop new therapies for serious diseases by molecularly targeting membrane and signaling proteins as well as innovative medical equipments through collaboration with industries and other schools inside or outside of Kobe University. In addition, the School was adopted to Program of Founding Research Centers for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and has been actively engaged in research on infectious diseases such as influenza and hepatitis C in Indonesia and other ASEAN countries.

In undergraduate education, the School has been aiming at bringing up medical doctors equipped with not only sophisticated medical knowledge/skills and high ethical standards but also an eye as a scientist bearing an exploring mind and creativity. In this year, the School has shown a strong commitment to medical care in rural areas in Hyogo Prefecture by increasing the number of students under a special admission policy for this purpose to 10 per year.

In graduate education, under the supports from the two Global COE Program grants and Grants for Excellent Graduate Schools from MEXT, the School has been enforcing a special Ph.D. course program for nurturing creativity as well as the ability to pursue independent and international research activities. In this course, outstanding students are selected based on evaluation of their research proposals written in English and provided with grants for independent research and financial supports as research assistants. They are provided with an opportunity to make a scientific exchange with faculties and graduate students of University of Washington (Seattle). In parallel, the School has been active in bringing up gclinician-scientistsh based on the alliance between basic and clinical medicine. Also, the School has been accepting many foreign students mainly from Asian countries and conducting bilateral student exchange with universities of the ASEAN countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. In addition, Program of Biomedical Sciences (master`s course) was established in 2002 to bring up non-MD students into researchers in life science and medical science fields working in academia or industries in the fields of biotechnology, medicine and healthcare.

Currently national university corporations in Japan are rocked by the strong waves of gselection and concentrationh exemplified by severe restrictions on education and research budgets. To cope with this problem, the School is making the best effort to improve its management system as well as education and research activities through active collaboration with industries and other schools inside or outside of Kobe University. The most important thing to attain this goal would be to attract distinguished scientists and young talent, faculties, postdocs or students to this School. So, I would like to convey my heartiest welcome to promising young people to join us.
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