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We are pleased to announce that the Global COE (Center of Excellence) Program entitled "Integrated Functional Molecular Medicine for Neuronal and Neoplastic Disorders" has been funded. This program is designed to create the global center of education and medical research based on the further development of the 21st Century COE Program entitled "Integrated Molecular Medicine for Neuronal and Neoplastic Disorders" during the 2003-2008 fiscal years, and the COE program entitled "Molecular Medicine of Neurodegenerative Disorders and Malignant Tumors" during the 1998-2002 fiscal years. Based on the accomplishments in the last decade, the Global COE team consisting of 22 laboratories plans to establish the global center of research and education in Nagoya University School of Medicine.

Many intractable diseases remain to be solved in 21st century. Of them, neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, motor neuron diseases, and mental and behavioral disorders are important targets for us to develop novel treatments through the elucidation of their molecular mechanisms. The development of better management for malignant tumors including molecular-targeted therapies is also urgent.  In the last decade, we have elucidated that common pathological mechanisms are present between neuronal disorders and malignant tumors. Students and scientists from various fields are pursuing interdisciplinary researches to discover novel methods for the management of these disorders based on the in depth investigation of molecular mechanisms. Therefore, the objectives of Global COE program in Nagoya University School of Medicine are: 1) to further develop the interdisciplinary researches, and 2) to establish the research and educational center for neuronal disorders and malignant tumors. The specific projects of this program are:

I. Establishment of Interdisciplinary Cooperation of Laboratories and Departments in Basic Science and Clinical Medicine

We plan to carry out the three major missions: 1) Pursuit of the functional molecules that are common to neuronal and neoplastic disorders, 2) Establishment of interdisciplinary research centered on functional molecules common to both these disorders, 3) Development of novel therapies that target these molecules. The goal of this project is to pursue medical research through interdisciplinary partnership for the development of novel treatments and preventive therapies of the diseases, which enable us to be a leading center in global medical research.

II. Functional Partnership with Neighboring Research Institutes

Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, the core institute of Global COE, is pursuing research projects through partnership with National Institute for Longevity Sciences and Aichi Cancer Center to build on and expand collaborative research projects by exchanging research information and scientists, which creates the global center for education and research.

III. Training and Education of Graduate Students and Young Scientists for Global Leadership in the Next Generation

Global COE program is also designed to educate and train the next generation of global leaders in the medical science. The global COE program supports approximately 45 graduate students, 20 postdoctoral fellows, and research faculties. The educational program of the global COE consists of four interdisciplinary lecture series, Neuroscience, Cancer science, Translational research, and Basic science courses, to systematically enrich and improve the knowledge and abilities of graduate students and young scientists. We further plan to establish center programs for education and research through interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships with other departments, institutes, and affiliations.

IV. Establishment of International Environment

Internationalization of our center is one of the most important objectives in the Global COE program. To create international network for collaborative research and partnership, the Global COE program supports the short and long term exchange activities for individual doctoral students and young scientists 1) to conduct research in foreign countries, 2) to participate graduate programs in foreign universities, 3) to participate international academic conference. COE plans to create and improve "the PhD program for foreign students" through cooperation with 12 overseas partner medical institutes and affiliates. The Global COE International Symposium will be held every year. We are pursuing the establishment of international environment where PhD students and young scientists learn global activities in medical sciences.

Program Leader Profile

Dr. Gen Sobue, MD. , Ph.DDr. Gen Sobue, MD. , Ph.D
Professor of Graduate School of Medicine
Born in Nagoya in 1950. Graduated from Nagoya University School of Medicine in 1975 (MD). Completed Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in 1981 (PhD). He has been a professor at Department of Neurology in Nagoya University since 1995 after a postdoctoral fellow in University of Pennsylvania, a lecturer and an associate professor in Aichi Medical University. Received Toshihiko Tokizane Memorial Award in 2005 and Chunichi Culture Award in 2007. He has been working on elucidation of the pathogenesis and therapy development for neurodegenerative disorders. Especially novel therapy for motor neuron disease is developed to the level of doctor-led clinical trial.

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