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Message from the Director General

Masao Masai

Hisao Masai

The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science (TMiMS) was established in April 2011 as a result of the merger of three institutes; the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Psychiatry, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, all of which had been founded in early- to mid-1970s with the support of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and had existed at different locations in Tokyo. The scientists from three different disciplines came together in a new research building in a quiet residential area at Kamikitazawa in Setagaya-ku, about 15 minutes by train from Shinjuku. The institute is under the continuous support of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and our aim is to advance medical research and improve the health and welfare of people living in the metropolises through collaborative research in basic life sciences, medical sciences, social medicine, and nursing.

In a metropolis such as Tokyo, people suffer from various diseases and other health-related problems unique to urban life-styles. These include mental disturbances caused by stresses associated with daily life, diseases associated with longevity, and diseases caused by complicated genetic traits as well as infectious diseases caused by viruses such as hepatitis, influenza, and other outbreaks. We are studying these problems using a unique combination of disciplines, technology and expertise.

We conduct forefront basic research in various biological fields including genome and protein functions, stem cells and development, genetic diseases, brain functions, neurobiology, neurodegeneration, stem cells and development, virus infection, allergy, schizophrenia, and depression. Using the state-of-art and newest technology and equipment, we are identifying molecules and mechanisms responsible for various biological phenomena as well as for disease progression. These knowledge and technology will be used to predict and prevent diseases, and develop new drugs and therapies that can be tailored to individual patients.

We also emphasize importance of sociomedical approaches, including large scale cohort studies aimed at identifying social and environmental factors associated with mental health of youths. We develop effective care and nursing systems for elderly people suffering from dementia, and provide those suffering from progressive and currently incurable diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)with innovative care systems to improve QOL of these patients.

We will pursue research that will contribute to prediction, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases, will improve the care of patients, and will help realize longer healthy life. Through this effort, we hope to serve as a leader and model institute for the life/medical science in the coming decades.

Research strategies of TMiMS for improvement of medical care for a mega-city

Image-Research strategies of TMiMS for improvement of medical care for a mega-city
TMiMS, located in the midst of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, is devoted to the improvement of health and welfare of people in the mega-city. We will deal with various diseases associated with longevity, stressful lifestyle, high diversity/social mobility of people, all of which are intrinsic to a big city.
We will conduct the cutting-edge basic science that will disclose fundamental basic mechanisms of biological processes and disease development. In collaboration with hospitals, the knowledge acquied will be applied to prediction/prevention/diagnosis of diseases, and to treatment of the patients. We also conduct social medical research to improve the welfare of the patients suffering from dementia and progressive diseases such as ALS. Also ongoing is cohort studies aimed to understand the social and environmental factors associated with mental health. These diverse approaches will be combined to overcome the medical problems that the big city is facing and to improve its medical care.