21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program Graduate School of Medicine, Keio University
Basic Study and Clinical Application of Human Stem Cell Biology and Immunology:
Approaches Based on the Development of Experimental Animal ModelsJapanese Site
KEIO UNIVERSITY
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Role of CIEA in the Program

The Graduate School of Medicine, Keio University is proud of its excellent staff in two scientific fields using animal models of human disease: (1) stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and (2) immunology and research on autoimmune diseases. The objectives of the COE are to utilize to the maximum the advantages of the traditional unified research system present since the establishment of the medical school, to assure ethics and safety based on the results of basic medical research, and to develop new methods of treatment and elucidate the pathophysiology of refractory diseases through concerted efforts in both basic and clinical research.

In Japan where there are high hurdles to be overcome in applying the results of basic research to clinical research, it is indispensable to foster preclinical research using animal models of human disease. The Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) is deeply involved in the establishment of animal experimentation systems for animal models of human disease to be useful in medicine based on the strong belief that laboratory animals should support medicine, and also in the establishment of in vivo experimental medicine to connect basic and clinical research. Visiting Professors Tatsuji Nomura, director of CIEA and Norikazu Tamaoki, deputy director of CIEA, play important roles as members of the COE program.

There are many excellent research institutions in Japan and overseas in the fields of stem cell biology and immunology, but most of them are devoted purely to basic research and do not specialize in applications to clinical medicine or translational research. In this COE program, the unified basic and clinical research foundation that characterizes the Postgraduate Medical Research Department of Keio University features a unique approach that further accelerates and connects this base directly with other fields and other bases through the development of in vivo experimentation systems using animal models for human disease and the establishment of preclinical studies using these systems based on the active participation of Professors Nomura and Tamaoki who have experience in development of such animal models and animal experimentation systems using them. The preclinical study model using completely immunodeficient NOG mice and the small primate marmosets developed by he Nomura group is unique and found no where else in the world. These are the basic feature of this base, which can not be achieved anywhere else in Japan or overseas.

The purpose of unifying the basic research and clinical research sectors is to assure that the results of solid basic research are rapidly fed back to benefit patients.

   
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