Our Mission

  Elucidating the underlying mechanisms universal to all living organisms is one of the ultimate purposes of biological research. With advances in quantification and formulation in life science, expectations for research that provides guiding principles for the elucidation of these universal properties are constantly increasing. To this end, we founded the Universal Biology Institute by integrating research groups from theoretical biology and quantitative experimental biology at The University of Tokyo, with the goal of establishing a new world-class academic field.
  Researchers in our university who are conducting quantitative or theoretical biological research using mathematics and physics are scattered across many schools, mainly the Graduate School of Science and the Graduate School of Art and Sciences, and also the Graduate School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Engineering. The former two schools are taking the initiative to gather such researchers, as well as invite top-tier and young researchers from all over Japan and the world, leading to the formation of a world-class education and research center with more than 20 researchers working to elucidate the universal truths of life. In addition, we will strengthen research collaborations between the Hongo and Komaba campuses and promote mathematical biology research based on close collaboration between theory and experimental groups, delivering pioneering research outcomes. There is high societal demands for our objectives, namely, the elucidation of 1) control mechanisms the underlying reversibility/irreversibility of differentiation of pluripotent and stem cells; 2) the roles of genetics/epigenetics in development and regeneration; 3) cell dynamics and cell population behavior; and 4) eventual synthesis of artificial cells based on knowledge obtained in topics 1–3.
  In the context of education, we will strengthen the functionality of The University of Tokyo by 1) enhancing university-wide introductory courses that provide students with an overview of biology, mathematics, and physics throughout undergraduate and graduate studies through close collaboration between the university staff and organization of Komaba and Hongo campuses; 2) reforming our education system to improve integration of undergraduate and graduate studies beyond each student’s major; 3) leveraging our staff and resources across the entire university; and 4) nurturing students to become highly skilled experts who will be able to lead innovation by balancing theory and practice at a high level.