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Graduate School of Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences


Many developed countries, including Japan – the country with the longest life span in the world – are now facing an unprecedented crisis: a super-aged society. To reduce social burdens such as the cost of medical services and other kinds of therapy for elderly people, measures are needed that will enable the elderly to maintain their health and quality of life throughout their lifetimes. To this end, it is urgently required that we develop an understanding of the mechanisms of diseases specific to the elderly and their progression in the context of genetic background, lifestyle, and diet. In addition, finding diagnostic molecular markers that indicate nutritional or disease status is of great importance to preventing the elderly from becoming sick.

For this reason, in 2012 we reorganized our former graduate schools, the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (GSPS) and the Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences (GSNES), into a single body to form a unique interdisciplinary graduate school. This school, the Graduate School of Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences (GSIPNS), provides a one-of-a-kind education system that fosters professionals who will exhibit expertise and leadership in interdisciplinary research fields, as well as those who will practically apply such research to the super-aged society.

GSIPNS offers graduate programs in the following five areas: Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences, Food and Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Health Sciences. The Graduate Program in Pharmacy (for pharmacists) and the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences (for drug researchers) carry out research and education in the pharmaceutical fields, which were formerly offered by the GSPS. The Graduate Program in Food and Nutritional Sciences and the Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences are closely related and complementary programs, which were formerly offered by departments in the GSNES.

Laboratories in the former GSPS and GSNES had for decades naturally conducted collaborative research into health and longevity, based on two shared concepts, “Yaku-shoku do-gen (food and drugs share a common origin)” and “Shoku-yaku yugo (fusing diet and medicine)”. This interdisciplinary research field was given substantial promotion by funding received through the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program (2002-2007) and the Global COE Program (2007-2012), both programs sponsored by the Japanese education ministry. In order to further develop education and research in health-longevity science, the two former graduate schools were reorganized into the four programs mentioned above, plus an additional program, the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences.

Reorganization into the GSIPNS allowed us to provide graduate students with a unique curriculum, including advanced courses and integrated seminars on health longevity science. In addition to students who study pharmaceutical, food and nutritional, or environmental sciences, the reorganized graduate school also allows us to accept a wide variety of talented individuals as PhD candidates, including graduate students who have studied other scientific fields, company-based researchers in full-time employment, and highly motivated foreign students preparing for professional careers in Japan or other countries.

Faculty members in the Graduate Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Graduate Division of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences work cooperatively to develop the educational programs of the GSIPNS. They conduct and supervise state-of-the-art research based on their strong cooperative relationships. Links to these faculty members and the programs they supervise are located in the bottom of this page.


Graduate Programs

Graduate Program in Pharmacy

The Graduate Program in Pharmacy aims to foster highly-skilled specialists who will work at the cutting edge of medical and clinical pharmacy and related fields by developing clinical skills and advanced research abilities. The program consists of two courses: the Medical Pharmacy Course trains researchers and educators in medical pharmacy and related fields, and the Clinical Pharmacy Course trains pharmacists for supervisory roles, as well as professionals involved in clinical trials and clinical development. We also provide support to individuals seeking qualifications as pharmacists specializing in cancer and infectious diseases, as well as coordinators of clinical trials. We have established the country’s first Pharmaceutical Education and Research Center at Shizuoka General Hospital, where postgraduate students are supervised in practical training and research. After completing their postgraduate studies, students are sought after to play key roles as research and development specialists at pharmaceutical companies, as hospital pharmacists, and as researchers in the fields of medical and clinical pharmacy.

Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences aims to foster scientists and other researchers with advanced knowledge and innovative research skills related to drug discovery and development. In the Master’s and Doctoral courses, students gain comprehensive knowledge of fundamental as well as cutting-edge pharmaceutical science and also acquire advanced research skills. The faculty members at the Center for Drug Discovery affiliated with this program are actively engaged in research to discover and develop drugs and in collaborative studies with other universities, public research organizations, and corporations. We seek highly motivated students who have an ambition to elucidate the mechanisms of health and illness at the molecular level, to discover drugs, and to contribute to the health of the world’s people. Students are expected to spare no effort in accomplishing their goals and also to have the potential to play a significant role in the international professional community. Graduates of the program are sought after as scientists and other researchers in the discovery and development of drugs, as administrators in positions requiring advanced expertise, and as academic staff involved in education and research in pharmaceutical sciences.

Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences

The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences was launched with the establishment of the Graduate School of Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences. The main objective of the program is to further build on the research into the “fusion of food and drugs” which we developed in our Global COE Program. In this program, the pharmaceutical sciences, which aim to elucidate the causes of various diseases and to discover and develop safe remedies for them, is fused with the food and nutritional sciences, which aim to develop and evaluate the safety of high efficacy functional foods, and to help prevent illness by elucidating the pharmacokinetics of food constituents in the body.
Students who have completed a Master’s degree in either Pharmaceutical Sciences or Food and Nutritional Sciences are trained to have comprehensive knowledge of the other field. They are trained as scientists and other specialists to undertake cutting-edge research in the life sciences spanning the boundary between drugs and diet. Graduates of the program will have the problem-solving abilities required to tackle issues related to the interactive and synergetic effects of pharmaceuticals and food. They are expected to play significant roles as scientists and other researchers in a wide range of fields related to the research and development of products fusing drugs and food, as administrators in positions requiring high levels of expertise, or as academic staff involved in research and education in fields related to pharmaceutical sciences, food sciences, and/or nutritional sciences.

Graduate Program in Food and Nutritional Sciences

The Graduate Program in Food and Nutritional Sciences consists of two divisions, the Division of Food Sciences and the Division of Nutritional Sciences, which work together in a spirit of strong mutual cooperation. The Division of Food Sciences focuses on functional foods, including tea – of which Shizuoka prefecture has the highest production levels in Japan – carrying out basic and applied research on the function, safety, and production of these foods, including the application of genetic engineering. The Division of Nutritional Sciences investigates the actions of food components, including trace elements, in organs such as the digestive tract, kidney, and brain, with a special focus on lifestyle-related illness, cancer, aging, and stress. Biomarkers, including genetic markers, are also developed and utilized, and clinical research and education are integrated in the division’s programs.

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Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences

The Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences is composed of the Division of Chemical Sciences and the Division of Ecological and Health Sciences, which carry out research in the environmental sciences, studying chemical pollutants from the points of view of their origin, fate, environmental impacts, and human risks. The department is characterized by interdisciplinary research on the effects of environmental factors such as chemicals, microorganisms, and radiation on ecosystems, human health, and life functions at the levels of organs, cells, and genes.
The program is open not only to students but also to researchers and foreign students interested in the physical basis of a sustainable society.

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Faculty (The faculty members in charge of the graduate school education and research)