Global COE Program for Life Sciences
Human Metabolomic Systems Biology
Makoto Suematsu, MD, PhD
Leader of the Program
Center for Human Metabolomic Systems Biology
Department of Biochemistry
School of Medicine, Keio University
The Global Center of Excellence (G-COE) is an institutional-based program grant started from 2007 for 5 years. It is an extension of 21st Century Center of Excellence program (21st Century COE) established in 2002 to cultivate a competitive academic environment among Japanese universities by giving targeted support to the creation of world-standard research. In Keio University, our program intends to raise the standard of both education and research, and the program seeks to elevate Keio to the world's highest echelons, while fostering people with talent and creativity. Since 2002, Keio University has been given such a privilege to conduct the 21st Century COE (21-COE) program for Systems Biology in the field of Life Science. The program has been conducted by 20 faculty members from Keio University and directed by Professor Hiroshi Yanagawa in the Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University. This program has ended in March 2007 and is transformed to the G-COE under an initiative by myself in Department of Biochemistry and Integrative Medical Biology, School of Medicine, Keio University.
The goal of the Center is to promote "Global COE for Human Metabolomic Systems Biology," which aims to reveal regulatory mechanisms of metabolism in human physiology and pathology through systems biological technology, such as high-throughput metabolome and computer-assisted biosimulation, and to form a world-class interdisciplinary research and education center to foster young researchers who will create new life science research that combines different fields including medical science, computer-assisted engineering, information sciences, and pharmaceuticals.
This center has been formed within the Center for Integrated Medical Research, and uses super immunodeficiency mice in which organized cell populations originating from humans are recreated in vivo to promote in vivo Metabolism System Biology studies under cancer tumor or parasitic infection conditions. It also actively promotes research and education activities, and collaborates with the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, Boston University, etc. to achieve synergistic effects taking advantage of the strengths of each institution in each respective field.
As part of activities aimed at fostering young researchers, the Center encourages students to experience trips and short-term study periods at collaborating universities overseas, and conducts research activities in multiple departments, so that they who have achieved an exceptionally high level can be granted double degrees. The Center also plans to initiate a Research Incubation Program in the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Graduate School of Media and Governance for young researchers at the Post-Doctorate level to provide a venue for establishing career paths.
This Center will actively invite instructors and young researchers from collaborating Centers overseas to promote the internationalization of Graduate School education at Keio University.
I sincerely hope that our program stimulates motivation of many young investigators to promote multidisciplinary life sciences and to enjoy the opportunity to discover new metabolic pathways and their regulatory mechanisms.