Department of Legal Medicine,School of Medicine,Tokyo Women's Medical University,Tokyo, Japan



1. Contributing to people's lives and the advancement of science through wide-ranging research and discussion

At the Department of Forensic Medicine, we seek to earn your trust by contributing to society through our teaching, research, and practice. We also contribute to public safety and peace of mind through our responsibility for legally ordered autopsies throughout Tokyo’s 23 wards from Tuesdays through Saturdays. Our aim is to practice legal medicine at a global standard.


2. Summer Study Tours and Training

The Department of Forensic Medicine conducts summer study tour and training programs for medical students and medical interns from around the country. Interested parties including those considering specializing in legal medicine in the future and those who are interested in learning more about the nature of graduate study are encouraged to contact us for further information.


3. Research

The primary research topics currently addressed by the Department include “forensic neuropathology and neurotraumatology” and “accident diagnosis and prevention.” Those with an interest in these fields are encouraged to visit the Department to learn more.

1) Forensic Neuropathology and Neurotraumatology
Forensic neuropathology is the area of specialization within legal medicine responsible for neuropathological investigations in legally ordered autopsies. Interpreting the situation resulting from a head injury, and the causal relationship between damage and disorder, requires specialized forensic knowledge and experience. Until now our research has focused on nerve cell degeneration caused by head injury, neuropathy caused by foreign bodies in the brain, and the relationship between accidents and dementia among the elderly. We continue to pursue our research, identifying important issues in the course of our forensic practice and verifying them through methods including experiments on animals that employ basic laboratory procedures.

2) Accident Diagnosis and Prevention
Major causes of death include falls, abnormal environments, acute intoxication, and traffic accidents, and researching their diagnosis and prevention is necessary to ensure public safety and peace of mind. Distinguishing between accidental death and death caused by illness is also an important point of diagnosis. At the Department of Forensic Medicine we analyze accidents involving children and the elderly, examining and investigating the relationship between accidents and existing or latent conditions as well as complications resulting from accidents. Also, for pathological changes requiring a determination of condition or damage caused by an abnormal environmental, we perform histomorphological and molecular-biological analyses to study causes and conditions and to detect information that will assist in making a determination. Furthermore, we also research the toxicological and forensic aspects of the relationship of accidents to drugs and toxic substances.

3) References
No.1Tatara Y, Shimada R, Kibayashi K. Effects of preexisting diabetes mellitus on the severity of traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 38, 886-902, 2021.
No.2Machida M, Kibayashi K. Effectiveness of whole genome amplification prior to short tandem repeat analysis for degraded DNA. Forensic Science International: Genetics 49, 102373, 2020
No.3Tominaga T, Shimada R, Okada Y, Kawamata T, Kibayashi K. Senescence-associated-β-galactosidase staining following traumatic brain injury in the mouse cerebrum. PLOS ONE 14, e0213673, 2019
No.4Abe K, Shimada R, Okada Y, Kibayashi K. Traumatic brain injury decreases serotonin transporter expression in the rat cerebrum. Neurological Research, 38, 358-63, 2016
No.5Nakao K, Tatara Y, Kibayashi K. Quantification of methamphetamine in mouse thighbones buried in soil. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 62, 1554-1558, 2017
No.6Ezaki J, Ro A, Hasegawa M, Kibayashi K. Fatal overdose from synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones in Japan: Demographics and autopsy findings. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 42(5), 520-529, 2016


4. Staff Recruitment

The Department of Forensic Medicine in the School of Medicine at Tokyo Women's Medical University broadly recruits teachers (medical practitioners and researchers), research students, graduate students (doctoral course), and research assistants from around the country. We welcome applications from those with a passion for teaching, research and practice irrespective of university of origin, MD or PhD, or other career details.


5. Seminars

We hold periodic open seminars that anyone can attend whether from within the university or not. Interested parties are invited to come to the Department. We particularly look forward to the participation of undergraduate students.

1) ArticlesWe present the latest articles in English related to the analysis of brain conditions caused by external factors and other topics related to our research.
2) Lectures (From Time to Time)We invite outside lecturers to present on special topics.


6. Graduate Student Recruitment

Tokyo Women's Medical University Graduate School of Medicine is recruiting graduate students specializing in social medicine and the field of forensic medicine.

1) Possible Research Topics

(1) Damage to the brain caused by head injury: Analyze damage to the brain caused by head injuries through histomorphological and molecular-biological analyses using experiments on animals.
(2) Brain conditions caused by abnormal environments: Devise methods of autopsy diagnosis by understanding the morphological changes in the brain caused by high and low body temperature.
Application of postmortem CT on forensic autopsy.
(3) Forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine: Devise methods of autopsy diagnosis or sickness and injury prevention by gathering and analyzing examples of sudden or accidental death

7. Contact

Interested parties are invited to contact the Department of Legal Medicine. We would be happy to welcome you to the Department for a visit.

Kazuhiko Kibayashi, MD
Department of Forensic Medicine
School of Medicine
Tokyo Women's Medical University
Tokyo, Japan