About us

Greetings from the Director

Masatoshi Kitagawa Ph.D.
Institute of Photonics Medicine
Vice President for Research

Establishment of the "Institute of Photonics Medicine'' for the dramatic development of medical research at our university

 Our university has opened a research institute named "Institute of Photonics Medicine'' on April 1, 2024 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its establishment.
 Our university has established the "Medical Photonics Research Center" in 2011 and the "Preeminent Medical Photonics Education & Research Center" in 2016, and has placed particular emphasis on photonics medicine and promoted it as a distinctive research of our university. The establishment of the "Institute of Photonics Medicine" will be a progressive reorganization of the "Preeminent Medical Photonics Education & Research Center" with the "International Mass Imaging Center", with the aim of jump-starting our photonics medicine research. "Institute of Photonics Medicine" aims to establish cutting-edge imaging technologies ranging from molecules and cells to individuals, and use them to elucidate unknown biological phenomena, and address unmet medical needs such as neuropsychiatric disorders (diseases that are unresolved and require effective diagnostic and therapeutic methods), and aim to develop minimally invasive diagnostic methods and effective treatments.
 This research institute consists of five departments. The "Preeminent Research Support" includes the Advanced Research Facilities and Services, which manages advanced equipment centered around the university's imaging complex and supports internal research using it, and the Laboratory Animal Facilities and Services, which supports animal experiments and the establishment of genetically modified animals, the Cancer Biobank Office. The "Preeminent Research Suppor"t aims to support the research of our university and our research institute, as well as promote joint use by institutions outside the university. The "Research and Development in Photonics Technology" aims to develop low-invasive photon technologies such as photoacoustic imaging and fNIRS. The "Preeminent Bioimaging Research" conducts a variety of imaging research using PET, fMRI, and our proprietary Nanosuit technology, contributing to the elucidation of the pathology of diseases. In addition, the "Innovative Diagnostic and Therapeutic Research", in cooperation with the Basic Clinical Division of the School of Medicine, aims to elucidate pathology and etiology and develop low-invasive diagnostic methods and effective treatments of unmet medical needs such as neurodevelopmental disorders, cranial nerve diseases, rare genetic diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases using the photon technologies. "Translational Biomedical Photonics" promotes bidirectional translational researches from basic to clinical and clinical to basic to facilitate our research as a control tower.
 At the Institute, we started an institute project titled "Elucidating the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders and creating innovative diagnostic treatments by integrating cutting-edge medicine and photon technology''. We expect that the divisional structure centered on the "Translational Biomedical Photonics" will further support the promotion of the projects.
 In addition, our university has been approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to establish a ``Hospital Lab'' as a base for generating next-generation photomedical research results. Furthermore, we are constructing a "Research Center for Molecular Neuroscience'' that aims to identify and elucidate the functions of unknown neural functional molecules using mass imaging and 3D imaging. They are expected that advanced medical research at our university, centered on the "Institute of Photonics Medicine'', will be strongly promoted.
 Hamamatsu City is a city of light and manufacturing that has issued the "Hamamatsu Light Declaration," and the "Institute of Photonics Medicine'' will take advantage of this geographical advantage and aim to achieve our goals with all our efforts. We appreciate your guidance, encouragement, and support. I would appreciate it if you could give me the following. Thank you for your continued support.