Research Centers and Institute

Humanities, Economics, Business, International, and IR

Education Center for Computing and Networking (ECCN)

ECCN promotes computing education and offers ICT(Information and Communication Technology) services. The main organization is located at the Mii campus with the branch organization at the Asahi-machi campus. 

Support for Basic ICT Learning
ECCN supports the learning of the fundamentals of computer science and the basics of computing & networking. Students can learn the ABCs of ICT and obtain basic skills like word-processing, spreadsheet, database access, computer-assisted presentation and Internet communication.

Support for Teaching and Research
ECCN offers its facilities and problem-solving skills to the teaching staff through senior courses including Computer Programming, Network Management, Statistical Analysis, Operations Research, Econometrics, and Modeling & Simulation, as well as e-learning courses in economics and foreign languages.

Computer Labs and Campus Networks
ECCN manages computer labs and intracampus and intercampus networks, which are open to all students and teaching staff. Available network services include e-mail, personal web-pages, personal file-cabinets, a bulletin board system, and mobile networking.

Institute of Comparative Studies of International Cultures and Societies

The Institute, established in 1987, aims at interdisciplinary and comprehensive academic study by the members of various sections in Kurume University: faculties, graduate schools and research institutes. The Institute has several study groups on such topics as area studies, health and welfare studies, law studies and studies for cultural assets and museums. In addition, local area studies such as “The comprehensive study for the Chikugo River Basin” and “The making of a community with health and a values as definite aims to live” are underway.

The Institute publishes an annual journal, “The Bulletin of the Institute of Comparative Studies of International Cultures and Societies” , and an annual report, “The Annual Report of the Institute of Comparative Studies of International Cultures and Societies” .

Institute of Foreign Language Education

The Institute was established in 1993 in order to study, in cooperation with each faculty, the direction of foreign language
education that reflects the demands of the present and the future, and to apply it to language teaching in the classroom for the improvement of the language proficiency of students. The Institute is unique in having six educational divisions: English, German, French, Chinese, Korean and Japanese as a Foreign Language.

The Institute of Foreign Language Education is located in the Mii Media Center, an education and research building, which
was opened in April of 1996. It is equipped with modern multimedia learning facilities which are freely available for students to use to improve their listening and speaking skills.

Many classes in the Institute are taught by native speaker instructors to help students acquire the ability to communicate in foreign languages, which will result in heightening and broadening their interests and understanding of foreign cultures. The Institute's overall goal is to educate future leaders of the 21st century to have respect for, and understanding of, people of other countries, who are at the same time able to communicate their own positions and opinions clearly.

Institute of Business Research

The Institute of Business Research was established on August 1, 2005, to promote theoretical and practical research related to business and its surroundings, maintaining a close relationship with the Faculty of Commerce and the Graduate School of Business Administration.

The Institute is composed of three research fields: Management Division, Business Division and Accounting Division.

The Management Division mainly promotes traditional study in areas such as commercial science, business management,  marketing, and finance. The Business Division advances research management strategy, management organization including IT business, logistics and ventures.

The Accounting Division centers on accounting subjects adding new theses of accounting such as intellectual property
rights and environmental accounting.

Institute of Economic and Social Research

The Institute of Industrial Economies, the predecessor of the Institute of Economic and Social Research, was originally established as an affiliated organization of the Faculty of Commerce in 1954 to devote to the study of the socio-economic aspects of Kurume and neighboring areas. Since its foundation, the Institute has conducted diverse research.

In 2010, the Institute was reorganized into the Insti tute of Economic and Social Research, as an affiliated organization of Kurume University. Its research agendas are now broadened to cover theoretical, empirical and political studies in the whole field of social and environmental science.

The principal activities of the Institute are to support faculty members' research, and sponsor a wide-range of research projects on industry and economies, focusing especially on the Chikugo Basin. Research results are published quarterly in The Journal of the Society for Studies on Economies and Societies. Findings are also presented periodically in public lectures.

International Center

Intensive Japanese Course (Ryugakusei Bekka)

The program was founded in 1999 for international students to prepare for study at Kurume University (undergraduate, graduate, transfer) with appropriate Japanese language skills. It focuses especially on improving speaking and writing abilities so as to study at the undergraduate or graduate level, and also offers basic knowledge of Japanese culture and society. Students can also participate in international exchange classes with Japanese undergraduate students and special cultural tours during the program.

Japanese language classes are divided into Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. A Beginners English class is also offered. The program has two courses: One-year course and 18-month course. Students will be given preferential treatment with a recommendation and granted exemption of the entrance fee when entering the faculty or graduate school of Kurume University. Courses begin in April and September.

 Intensive Japanese Course (Ryugakusei Bekka) Web Site

The International Center

The International Center was opened on January 1,2002. The direct objectives of the Center are: (1) to expand academic exchange between Kurume University and universities abroad, and (2) to provide academic support and general assistance for students who wish to study abroad and for international students studying at Kurume University. The indirect objective of the Center is to help build a wealth of international experience for the entire university through domestic and international exchange.

Based on an agreement with 28 foreign universities, the Center provides study abroad programs and short-term language study programs for the students of the university. On the other hand, international students in the undergraduate, graduate, and Intensive Japanese Course have greatly increased. Because of this increase, a wide range of duties, such as Japanese language education, Japanese cultural study tours, speech contests, scholarship application, grassroots exchange, and foreign student club support, have become and will continue to be important for the International Center.

 The International Center Web Site

 Medical and Nursing

Institute of Life Science

The Institute of Life Science established in 1989. The Institute was founded for the development of biomedical research in
molecular biology, which is one of the most exciting fields of science. The Institute is composed of three divisions: Cell Biology, Protein Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. The Institute has a four-year program for graduate students leading to the Doctor of Medical Science Degree.

The Division of Cell Biology investigates the molecular mechanism of cell division using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The spindle assembly checkpoint monitors the state of spindle-kinetochore interaction to prevent the premature onset of anaphase. Although checkpoint proteins, such as Mad2, are localized on kinetochores that do not interact properly with the spindle, it remains unknown how the checkpoint proteins recognize abnormalities in spindle-kinetochore interaction. We report that Mad2 localization on kinetochores in fission yeast is regulated by two partially overlapping but distinct pathways: the Dam1/DASH and the Bub1 pathways.

The main focus of research by the Division of Molecular Genetics is the search for novel biological peptides. We discovered ghrelin and neuromedins, and revealed their physiological functions. The discovery of ghrelin has elucidated the role of the stomach as an important organ in the regulation of growth hormone release and energy homeostasis. Ghrelin is orexigenic; it is secreted from the stomach and circulates in the blood stream under fasting conditions, indicating that it transmits a hunger signal from the periphery to the central nervous system.

The main interest of the Division of Protein Biochemistry is the molecular analyses of mitochondria. Mitochondrial morphology is dynamically controlled by a balance between fusion and fission. The physiological importance of mitochondrial fission in vertebrates is less clearly defined than that of mitochondrial fusion. We show that mice lacking the mitochondrial fission GTPase Drp1 have developmental abnormalities, particularly in the forebrain, and die after embryonic day 12.5.

Research Center for Innovative Cancer Therapy

Northern Kyushu has one of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in Japan, and the cancer population in this area is forecast to increase as society continues to age. Under these circumstances, Kurume University has made cancer control the primary focus of its clinical and basic research activities, and The Research Center for Innovative Cancer Therapy has become the central core of cancer research at this Institution.

Our Center was established in fiscal 1996, when the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan(MEXT) set up a grant support program for “the establishment of high-tech research centers at private universities” . Over the years this program has supported many different research projects at our Center. Currently we have three divisions: Cancer Vaccine Development, Liver Cancer Research, and Molecular Targeting Therapeutics. Some of the major research projects currently underway at the Research Center for Innovative Cancer Therapy are as follows:
1. Cancer vaccine development project: Basic and clinical research of cancer vaccines and cancer immunotherapy are being conducted by the Cancer Vaccine Development Division in collaboration with the Cancer Vaccine Center at the Medical Center. Many other clinical departments at the School of Medicine are also contributing to the project.
2. Liver cancer project: Development of innovative diagnostic markers for occurrence and metastasis of liver cancer and novel therapeutic strategies against tumors are being conducted by the Liver Cancer Research Division in collaboration with the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Pathology at the School of Medicine.
3. Molecular targeting project: Basic and clinical research to develop molecular targeting therapy are being conducted by the Molecular Targeting Therapeutics Division. Many clinical departments at the School of Medicine are contributing to the project.

 Development of innovative cancer therapies has always been our primary mission, and we pledge to continue our efforts to insure the rapid delivery of these therapies to cancer patients.

Cognitive and Molecular Research Institute of Brain Diseases

Founded in 1963, this Research Institute was established as the Cognitive and Molecular Research Institute of Brain Diseases, Kurume University, and granted the “Project for establishing open research centers in private universities” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in April 2002.

This Institute is widely open for collaborative researchers in and outside of Kurume University and aims at interdisciplinary studies. It consists of the clinical and research divisions. The former involves not only psychological testing but also a Clinic for Dementia. The latter specializes in studies on “Mind and Brain”, the main projects being “cognitive and neuroscientific studies on adult and geriatric diseases” , “molecular biology in adult and geriatric diseases” and “molecular genetics and gene therapy studies on psychological and neurological diseases in pediatrics”.

To address our research projects topics, we use a multi-method approach employing a wide range of measures (e.g. endocrine, autonomic,immune, subjective-psychological tests) and methods (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging, thermal infrared imaging), both in the field and the laboratory, allowing us to probe cognitive and molecular systems on different levels and under different conditions.

Biostatistics Center

The Biostatistics Center was established in 2004 through funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology to conduct the first biostatistics program in medical schools in Japan. The main mission of the Center is to train professional biostatisticians and biostatistics researchers who are expected to contribute to solving challenging problems in biology, medicine and public health. The Center provides unique opportunities in both education and research through collaboration with domestic and foreign universities, biomedical research institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. The Center offers two degree programs: The Master Degree emphasizes the application of biostatistics and provides training for a career in biomedical/public health. The Doctoral Degree provides advanced training in order to meet the challenges of modern biomedical science.


Education Center for the Certifed Nurse

The Education Center for the Certified Nurse was established in April, 2008, as the first education facility opened in the Kyushu area, having two courses: Palliative Care and Cancer Chemotherapy Nursing. Cancer Radiotherapy Nursing courses were opened in April, 2010. The three courses each enroll 30 students and focus on knowledge acquisition and professional skill development for six months.

Applicants must have work experience as a clinical nurse for 5 or more years, including work for 3 or more years in the special field of Palliative Care, Cancer Chemotherapy Nursing, or Cancer Radiotherapy Nursing.
*Certified Nurse (source: Japanese Nursing Association website)

Certification as a Certified Nurse is extended to nurses who can use matured nursing skills and knowledge to provide a high level of nursing practice, leadership, and consultation in a specific nursing area.

Institute of Cutaneous Cell Biology

Founded in 2010, this Research Institute was established as the Kurume University Institute of Cutaneous Cell Biology. The Institute was granted the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research and Strategic Research Basis Formation Supporting Project in Private Universities by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants, and grants for Research on Measures for Intractable Diseases by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan in April 2009.

This Institute is widely open for collaborative researchers in and outside of Kurume University, in either domestic institutes or institutes abroad. The Institute conducts much translational research between various skin diseases and basic research of the skin.There are three main research areas in this Institute: (1) keratinocyte cell biology (mainly, pathogenicity, diagnosis and treatment of various autoimmune bullous skin diseases, (2) genetic studies of various hereditary skin diseases of the epidermis, and (3) basic cutaneous immunology. This is the first Japanese institute mainly for the studies of keratinocyte biology.

Cardiovascular Research Institute

The Cardiovascular Research Institute of Kurume University was originally established by Professor Noboru Kimura of the
Third Department of Internal Medicine in 1959. It was largely funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, New York,

The Cardiovascular Research Institute has been a center for both clinical cardiology and basic cardiovascular science in Kurume University.The Institute has been supported by a series of national grants from MEXT, Japan since 1998, when the Cardiovascular Research Institute was renovated with 20 laboratory rooms and cutting-edge research equipment.

The mission of the Institute is to conduct the clinical and basic research of cardiovascular diseases, the second largest killer in Japan next to malignant neoplasms, for novel diagnostics, therapeutics and eventually better patient healthcare, focusing mainly on atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, Kawasaki disease and aortic diseases. The Department of Internal Medicine Division of Cardio-vascular Medicine, the Deartment of Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics in the Kurume University School of Medicine collaborate together at the Institute, which provides a unique environment and opportunities for multidisciplinary and high-quality research on cardiovascular diseases.