Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University

Japanese

Overview

Dean
Graduate School of Frontier Bioscience
Osaka University

The aim of Graduate School of Frontier Bioscience is to explore the "OMOROI" research. Some people suspect as it is just a joke because "OMOROI" is the word to express the fun of Manzai, a kind of comedy play in Kansai area. We are, however, very serious about this aim. Below, I would like to explain the reason why the word "OMOROI" is the most appropriate as the aim of our graduate school.

Manzai is a comical chat played by two comedians. One of them is called as "Boke (Funny man)", and the other is called as "Tukkomi (straight man)". To make the chat funny for the audience, the boke part sometimes replies with unusual words to digress the chat. This digression should be unexpected, but at the same time, should have some persuasiveness which makes the audience admire. The role of tukkomi part is to restore the chat by criticizing the boke with the common sense. By knowing that the chat has touched down to the normal plain, the audiences are relieved and laugh. This restoration is indispensable for the next boke. In the well structured Manzai, the restoration by the tukkomi part induces the next boke, and repeating of this boke-tukkomi cycle gives rise to a big wave of laughter.

We think "research" is somehow similar to "manzai". If we were forced to study a run-of-the-mill phenomenon with already known technique, it would be very difficult to have motivation. In order to make us passionate to the research, the project must be original and new hypothesis. The more unexpected from the common sense of others, the more fun we have. Of course, what simply unexpected does not work. It must have enough possibility to become reality. What corresponds to "tukkomi" is verification by experiments. By the verification, what is originally just a fantasy becomes reality, which would lead to next question to be solved. If the cycle of new question and verification rolls up, a new field of science would be made. This is the dream of all scientists.

In short, OMOROI research is the research inspired by the new and original idea on the researchers. As the most important value in research is originality, simply pursuing OMOROI should lead to usefulness or importance. But please let us forget such value. By gathering the researchers who purely pursue their own OMOROI research, a new field of bioscience will be created. We hope that our graduate school should be such place. So, all the researchers and students who want to pursue your own OMOROI research, we hope you will savor every moment of your time here with us.

Past Message

The Graduate School of Biosciences Research

All life is composed of basic biological elements like nucleic acids, genes, proteins, and membranes. Over several decades, our understanding of the life sciences has greatly advanced by bringing together an assortment of different fields including genetic engineering, molecular biology, physiology, and medicine. The next stage is to clarify how these different elements dynamically interact and change in order to establish the diverse and complex function seen within all biological systems.

For this, a new framework to approach the life sciences is needed. The Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, therefore, has broken this task into three. The first and perhaps most fundamental is further understanding of the function of various biological systems. At the same time, it is necessary to understand the basic properties of the elements involved and also to clarify how the environment helps determine function.

Overall, the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences seeks to understand the underlying principles and mechanisms that decide how a biological system functions. To achieve this, non-traditional fields like physics and engineering must be more incorporated into the life sciences. The school, therefore, has brought in the best minds from the life and physical sciences to create a new standard for research and education in order to make the next leap in life sciences research.

In this regard, the school is composed of seven core research themes, with several other complementary ones. The Ph.D. program, which normally takes five years, is designed so that a student becomes proficient in different fields ranging from medicine to engineering in order to become a leader for the next generation of researchers.