|Isao Shimokawa, PhD. Dean|
The Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was inaugurated
in 2002, as an integration of the Graduate Schools of Medicine, Dentistry
and Pharmaceutical Sciences. On the basis of its effort since then, it
aims to be a graduate school with high levels of education and research
In 10 years, Japan will be an extremely aging society with one in four
people being aged 75 or over. We, educators and researchers of medicine
and life science, have a duty and mission to contribute to well-being of
such aging society. It is necessary to advance the research and development
for prevention and early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases due to
aging, and for treatment without lowering the quality of life. On the other
hand, in spite of declining birth rates, we also need to guarantee the
lives and healthy growth of children who will represent the next generation.
Moreover, clinical research is needed to save patients suffering from rare
and intractable diseases. We will endeavor for the development of advanced
medicine and life science studies, regarding transplantation/regenerative
medicine and drug discovery as their core.
Even in developing countries, where the population of youth is large at
present, the birthrate will rapidly decline and an aging society will soon
arrive. Research, education, and medical cooperation need to be considered
from worldwide viewpoints. Globalization should be accelerated in our graduate
school. In this point, we will work with the overseas research stations
centered on the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Atomic Bomb Disease
Nagasaki University School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, established
in 2015, is a model of an educational institution to nurture international
researchers and medical human resources. Collaborating with London University,
we will create an educational curriculum of world's top level in the field
of public health. Such contrivance is supposed to be possible in other
research areas or academic disciplines. For instance, in Nagasaki University,
the project for developing specialists in cause of death investigation
is under way as a collaboration of medicine, dentistry, and pharmaceutical
sciences, such as Forensic pathology, Forensic dentistry, and Pharmaceutical
toxicology. We intend to support this project for the future cooperation
with universities in Germany, which has traditions of forensic pathology,
and ASEAN countries, and the development into creating a cooperative program
and credit transfer / joint degree systems. This kind of progress can be
expected in the ongoing programs for Fostering Medical Researchers of the
Future (Medical-Engineering Hybrid and Comprehensive Community Care) and
Human Resource Development for Cancer.
Leading Graduate School Program in Doctoral Course was set up from a viewpoint
of improvement of education ability. Problem-solving classes, which mean
case studies in group working, will be expectedly adopted in the first
year of each course. Basically the students take classes instructed by
several teachers, and present a review in a specific field of an international
academic journal. Overseas students will be encouraged to participate in
the group work, in which they discuss a problem in English. Graduate School
of Biomedical Sciences, will provide assistance for studying abroad and
holding a joint seminar with an international joint research group, and
will aim to heighten the presentation and discussion ability of our students
and young researchers.
Researches or professors in certain areas will attract many students,
and they will wish to receive an education at our Graduate School. Our
ideal is that, through problem-solving classes, the students expand the
range of research basis, set up a research task by themselves, and study
under guidance of a professor as they want.
For the development of education ability at a graduate school, it is essential
to heighten the teaching staff's or group's high research ability. Education
ability tightly connects with research ability.
Due to the change of disease composition resulting from the decreasing
birthrate and increasing aging population, we have to strive for young
teaching staff's independence enhancement and high mobility of research
groups, considering the reorganization of departments. An example is the
Unit of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, which includes 5 departments
of medicine, 1 of dentistry, and 1 of pharmacy. In the departments of medicine,
reorganization is being prompted with an image in 10 years hence, in consideration
of the professors' retirement. The Unit of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
has potential to evolve into an international research group aiming for
infection control and drug discovery.
Department of Frontier Life Sciences, independent of any existing research areas, started in 2014. A group of researchers composes this department without a hierarchy present in conventional departments. This is the time for each field of sciences to discuss the issue of a new research core formation by researchers' independence of department. For instance, it is possible to construct an organic research group with the department of Frontier Life Sciences, the program of Human Resource Development for Cancer, and Nagasaki University Hospital's clinical departments, if we adopt researchers capable of executing fundamental/clinical translational research for innovational cancer treatment with much consideration of aged or working people's QOL.
Furthermore, strategy will be under consideration for research ability
enhancement, setting regenerative medicine and drug discovery as a main
target. We, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, are eager to support
for our researchers' formulation of international joint research groups
and their research achievement.
3. Organization Management
It is needless to say that strategic management of the organization is
a key for the development of our education and research abilities. Our
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has a remarkable feature that the
basis is an integration of medicine, health sciences, dentistry and pharmaceutical
sciences, which distinguishes us from other graduate schools/courses. The
teaching staff makes every exertion at all times for the undergraduate
course education. Also, they are responsible for the National Qualifying
Examinations and the post-graduation clinical training.
In 2015, due to the amendment of the Education Law, such issues as selection of a professor and organization management were deleted from faculty meeting agenda. On the other hand, the university president's authority was reinforced and the administration meeting was set up. There is necessity to reflect about organization management adequate to a new university structure and to make prompt decisions. On this occasion, we will improve an obsolete portion without substance, make it more efficient according with the actual situation, and change into an organization capable of prompt decision. Under a new system, the management will be a cooperation of the deans and other members, and undecided issues will be sorted into the agendas to be decided in each organization and those to be approved in an overall meeting of medicine, dentistry and pharmaceutical sciences. Consequently, our Graduate School will be reconstructed to be an organization which expresses overwhelming economy of scale when striving for the success of a project as one body.
4. As Closing Remarks
I concurrently hold two posts; the Dean of School of Medicine and that
of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In the administration of the
Graduate School, fairness and impartiality is required by our President.
It is prerequisite for the Graduate School to expand strong point of education
and research in each faculty or institute which is a basis of the Graduate
School. And I believe that it is an utmost assignment to provide a supporting
system for integrated education and research as the need arises. I will
exert myself for mutual understanding with the deans of each faculty or
institute and for judging in a broad range of viewpoint. Another goal is
to maintain the transparency of our decision-making process.
In conclusion, I note that there could not be a successful accomplishment
without the cooperation of each member of the Graduate School of Biomedical
Sciences; teachers, students and clerical staff.