The National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) is a government supported basic research institute in the field of biology. It aims to stimulate and promote studies of biology, by conducting firstrate research on its own, and by cooperating with other universities and research organizations. The Institute concentrates on the studies of cellular functions, growth and development, homeostatic control, and gene expression and regulation in eukaryotic organisms, to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms underlying various living phenomena at the molecular level.

In October of 1992, an American journal published an article "Science in Japan" (Science, 258, 562), in which citation indices of papers published in 1981 1991 by different universities and institutes in Japan were shown. The index of the NIBB was highest in Japan and comparable to those of leading universities in the United States. We are justly proud of this and would like to maintain a high level of research activity at the Institute.

A new professor is expected to join the NIBB in early 1994. Dr. Tetsuo Yamamori, Sub-Teamleader of the Riken is to fill the position of Professor of Speciation Mechanisms. His research is aimed at an understanding of the molecular mechanisms for the evolution of information processing by the nervous system. During the past year, the Institute continued to be active in exchange of personnel: we newly appointed 14 research associates from other universities including one foreign university, while three research associates were promoted to associate professors and a lecturer at other universities.

The NIBB is an inter-university research institute and plays many roles as a national and international center for the study of biology. The Institute is responsible for conducting research projects in cooperation with research groups in different universities and institutes. As a part of such cooperative activities, the NIBB carries out Special Programs which are currently directed to "Signal Transduction" and "Transdifferentiation of tissue cells". Based on such programs, the NIBB held the 30th and 3lst Conferences in 1993, entitled "Vertebrate germ-line: its development and maturation" (organized by Prof. Nagahama) and "Japan-France collaborative workshops on gene manipulation in aves" (organized by Prof. Eguchi), respectively.

In addition, the Institute sponsors symposia and study meetings on current topics at the interdisciplinary level by inviting leading scientists in various related fields, both nationally and internationally. The NIBB also shares its research resources to make them available to biologists both from Japan and around the world. Through such activities, the NIBB is and will continue to be a national and international center to promote basic research in the biological sciences.

This report describes an outline of recent research activities of the NIBB and contains a list of papers published by the members of the Institute in 1993.

lkuo Takeuchi, Ph.D.& D.Sc.
Director General