About Us

Greetings from Department Chair

Koji Tsuda, Dean,
Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences

The second half of the 20th century saw major developments in molecular biology and rapid progress in our principled understanding of living organisms as genome-based systems. Following this development, the 21st century is said to be the era of life science applications and life innovation. However, life phenomena are complex, and they cannot be understood and applied simply by breaking them down into their many constituent molecules and elementary processes, simplifying them, and discovering their principles. To achieve this, it is necessary to analyze complex life phenomena as a whole, clarify the many elements involved and their relationships, and find ways to control them. Such technological innovation is considered essential to usher in the era of life innovation.

Recent rapid developments in DNA sequencing, omics analysis, imaging, and other technologies have made it possible for the first time to comprehensively analyze a wide variety of biological macromolecules, and have provided clues to the analysis of complex life phenomena as a whole. At the same time, it has also become clear that the analysis of large amounts of information on biomolecules will be the focus of life innovation. In the information age of life sciences, innovations in information technology will be essential for understanding and controlling the many elements involved in life phenomena and their interrelationships.

Medicine has always been at the forefront of applied life sciences because of its critical need, and the era of the informatization of life sciences is no exception. In humans, the collection of personal genomes has progressed remarkably, making it possible to rapidly estimate disease-related mutations, and its clinical application is about to begin in earnest. Furthermore, humans have accumulated a large amount of phenotypic information in the form of medical information as well as a variety of comprehensive analytical information, making humans the most suitable organism for new information technology. Therefore, in the era of informatization of life sciences, it is expected that medical science will lead other fields.

With the above awareness of the times as a backdrop, the Department of Medical Genomics and the Department of Informatics and Life Sciences have been merged to establish a unique new department, unparalleled in Japan. This new department aims to lead the informatization of the life sciences, making a significant contribution to life innovation, and to educate personnel who can translate the results into clinical practice. To achieve this goal, we believe it is necessary to actively incorporate on-the-job training at cutting-edge research sites in informatics and medical science, to realize an environment for basic education that integrates informatics and medical science, and to develop human resources with new expertise. Such personnel are needed not only for medicine, but also for other applied fields such as agriculture, pharmacy, environmental studies, and bioengineering. Our ideal new department, as the only department in Japan capable of educating such personnel, aims to lead research in Japan in the 21st century, which is said to be the era of applied life sciences, while providing a wide range of personnel who will contribute to the informatization of life sciences and life innovation.

Page Top