Shunichi Miyazaki, M.D., Ph.D. President, IREIIMS President, Tokyo Women’s Medical University Shunichi Miyazaki
The end of IREIIMS, and the development of integrated medical sciences
―Looking back over five years of IREIIMS―

In FY 2005 the “Creation of an International Integrated Medical Science Research and Education Center” was proposed and adopted under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Program for Promoting the Establishment of Strategic Research Centers( Super COE), part of their Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology. The International Research and Educational Institute for Integrated Medical Sciences(IREIIMS) was subsequently established in our university. We have spent around five years of enthusiastic work on this project, and gained results. The five year project itself will draw to a conclusion on March 31, 2010.

Because the organizational structure of IREIIMS places it directly under University’s Board of Directors, independent of any of its other existing faculty societies, under the direct leadership of the President it has been possible to introduce systems hitherto new at the University such as fixed term appointments, an annual salary system using unique remuneration standards, and systems for evaluating research and performance. It has also been possible to recruit researchers on an international basis, and attract researchers from a wide variety of fields.

Besides the research and training results, the IREIIMS program has, directly and indirectly, influenced and contributed to the University’s systematic reforms. For example, the comprehensive view of IREIIMS that advocates a paradigm shift from treatment-centered medicine towards preventive medicine has been reflected in the formulation of the University Corporation’s overall mid- and long-term vision. The IREIIMS researchers are also in charge of teaching in the integrated medical sciences field established in our Graduate School of Medicine. Moreover, a department in charge of encouraging and supporting research ̶ essential to strengthening research ̶  has been newly established within the University’s headquarters as a result of the utilization of the broad intellectual assets that are an outcome of IREIIMS.

Turning to the future, the establishment in April 2010 of Tokyo Women’s Medical University Institute for Integrated Medical Sciences( TIIMS), as the successor body to IREIIMS, has already been decided upon, and I hope that not only will it maximize results of IREIIMS that I have mentioned, but also put to use the strengths of the numerous clinical cases with which the University is replete, and develop into our research and training center for integrated medical sciences. The technological progress and changes in the state of medical science and medicine over the past four to five years have been far more rapid than was foreseen at the time the IREIIMS concept was considered, so the successor Institute will, while using the new genome analysis techniques that have formed a common basis for medical science and medicine, conduct research and educational activities that will be the core for the development of integrated medical sciences. There are also plans to establish a research section for genome analysis and diagnosis section using an ultrafast next-generation sequencer.

I hope that the report on our results, “IREIIMS Achievement Report 2005 – 2010”, will enable readers to appreciate the activities of IREIIMS, which has set itself an extremely ambitious mission, and conducted research and training aimed at the “Creation of an International Integrated Medical Science Research and Education Center”, and that it will serve to encourage support for its successor initiative. Finally, I would also like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japan Science and Technology Agency and all the other related research institutions, businesses, NPOs and people who have supported this project.


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