Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University



Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
Osaka University

Tamotsu Yoshimori

What is "research"?

The Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, FBS is a place to study "what is life". If you are reading this article, you probably have an interest in life and/or basic research. When we ask students what is your purpose of applying to our institute, most of them say "to do research". Well then what is research? There are researches help to cure diseases, to protect from natural disasters etc but "research" should originate from your curiosity and should follow the passion to solve and understand why things are the way they are. FBS is the place where you ask the fundamental questions in life by doing basic research.

Recent years, Japanese researchers have been awarded Nobel prizes. Dr. Ohsumi (distinguished Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology) who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 2016 quoted an important aspect of research: "researches that are uncertain of usefulness are the ones hold the preciousness". I truly agree. Research is all about exploring the intellectual horizon and should not matter if they are useful or not at first hand. Studies to explore the truth lead to the big discovery, not whether that is valuable to life or not. Useful technologies follow after. Autophagy, the Dr. Ohsumi's research field, plays a positive role in many diseases and now there are many hopes for medical applications. This is due to his molecular based researches but no one expected at the time of discovery.

Science, deeply routed in human nature, driven by the desire to know, is a culture and a common property of mankind. We have built a grand entity of knowledge by gradual yet steadily discoveries one after another for many thousands of years. It is invisible yet incomplete beautiful and stately construction, like La Sagrada Familia. It is worth more than practicality. Join us and build something original together!

FBS advocates doing fun research. Research is fun. Why? How so? well that's a secret. Join us and find out on your own. Many "funs" are hidden here and there in our graduate school. But you gotta look for it.

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.