Message from Director

IQB Director
Prof. Katsuhiko Shirahige, Ph. D.

The Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (IQB) was created on April 1st, 2018 by reorganizing the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (IMCB). IQB aims to conduct cutting-edge research that describes all dynamic biological processes in terms of physical quantities. To this end, we will utilize structural biology and genomics while incorporating mathematics, physics, chemistry, and quantum chemistry in a flexible manner, and develop novel life science research that places the highest priority on quantitativeness and reproducibility.

The Human Genome Project has brought about two significant revolutions to biology in the 21st century. First , by determining the full nucleotide sequences of the genomes of humans as well as mode organisms such as mice, flies, and yeast, it defined the elements that constitute life. Second, comprehensive measurement technologies have been developed that allow us to analyze protein, DNA, RNA, metabolites, and the interactions between them at a genome-wide level. These technologies are rapidly evolving, resulting in the appearance of more advanced measurement technologies, as well as the enrichment of biological databases. Using such technologies has led to the advent of data-driven research in the life sciences. Data-driven approaches enable the interpretation of huge and diverse datasets in an integrated manner, allowing us to understand biological phenomena comprehensively and from multiple angles. Today, data-driven research is critical not only for elucidating biological phenomena, but also for clinically relevant efforts such as efficient drug discovery, therapeutics, and diagnosis, which are in demand in modern society. Needless to say, high reproducibility of experimental data and quantitativeness of research is a prerequisite for all data-driven research. On the other hand, biological research has tended to be story-driven. Indeed, many studies have suffered from problems with reproducibility due to the use of methodologies that lack proper scientific rigor.

In this context, IQB will continue to strive to develop novel research methodologies, placing a greater emphasis on quantitativeness by destroying barriers between individual research projects and renewing conventional methodologies while maintaining the excellence and diversity of research that we inherited from IMCB. We will also share the novel methodologies we develop with other institutes, as well as within IQB, and continue to develop them further. We will not only establish a more open research environment from the perspectives of infrastructure and culture, but also proactively collaborate with domestic and international universities, research institutes, and business entities. These efforts will enable us to accurately elucidate the operational principles of biomolecules by explaining biological phenomena in a detailed manner from multiple angles while determining the connections between each of level of organization: atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, and individual organisms.

We will strive to contribute to the development of fundamental biology and medical life sciences by continuing to secure a research environment with high transparency and spontaneity, cultivating young research talent, and placing the highest priority on research reproductivity. I cordially ask for your understanding and support.

April 1st, 2018