We present here the Annual Report 1995 describing the research
activities of the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB)
during the past year.
The NIBB is a government supported basic research institute in the field of biology. It aims to stimulate and promote studies of biology, by conducting first-rate research as a center of excellence, and by cooperating with other universities and research organizations. The Institute concentrates on the studies of cellular functions, reproduction and development, homeostatic control, and gene expression and regulation in eukaryotic organisms, to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms underlying various biological phenomena at the molecular level.
During the past year, the turnover of personnel has been very high. At the end of March, the former Director-General, Dr. Ikuo Takeuchi retired from the NIBB due to his appointment as the President of the Okazaki National Research Institutes. His position was taken over by Dr. Hideo Mohri from the beginning of April. Professor Yoshihiko Fujita of the Division of Bioenergetics also retired at the end of March and became Emeritus Professor. His successor as well as the new professor of the Division of Gene Expression and Regulation I will be appointed in the coming April. Professor Masaki Iwabuchi (Kyoto University) of the Adjunct Division of Developmental Biology completed his term of office and was followed by Professor Kenzo Nakamura of Nagoya University. Two associate professors, Drs. K. Okada and H. Hayashi, and a research associate, Dr. T. Kondo, moved as full professors to Kyoto University, Ehime University, and Nagoya University, respectively. Drs. M. Yoshikuni, H. Iida and K. Ogawa were appointed as Associate Professor of the Division of Reproductive Biology, the Division of Cellular Regulation and the Radioisotope Facility, respectively. Furthermore, we newly appointed 6 research associates and 8 institute research fellows, while 10 research associates other than Dr. Kondo and two institute research fellows moved to other institutions.
The NIBB plays important roles as a national and international center for the biological research and is responsible for conducting research projects in cooperation with research groups of various universities and institutes. As a part of such cooperative activities, the NIBB carried out Special Programs which are currently directed to "Adaptation and Resistance to Environment " and "Trans-differentiation of Tissue Cells". Based on these programs, the NIBB held the 34th and 35th Conferences entitled as "Responses of the Photosynthetic Apparatus to Environmental Light Conditions" (organized by Professor Kimiyuki Satoh) and "Mechanisms of Cell Commitment in Differentiation" (organized by Professor Goro 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. In 1995, the 11th International Symposium in conjunction with the Award of the International Prize for Biology "Dynamics of the Cell" was organized by the NIBB, inviting the laureate of the 1995 Prize, Professor I. R. Gibbons, and many distinguished investigators in the field of cell biology. The NIBB also provided a training course in bioscience for young investigators and participated in the International Science School for high school students of Asian-Pacific countries.
Fortunate enough, the construction of a new building for the Laboratory of Gene Expression and Regulation (about 2500m2) has been decided by the government, and institution of the new division, Speciation Mechanisms II, is expected in the coming year. At the end of the year, the NIBB had a symposium about the future of its own by inviting authorities in various fields of biology. Discussion at this symposium was quite stimulative and would be utilized for making the future plan of the Institute.
Finally, I would like to congratulate that Emeritus Professor T. S. Okada, the past President of Okazaki National Research Institutes and the past Director-Genaral of NIBB, was honored as Person of Cultural Merit and Professor G. Eguchi was awarded a Purple Ribbon Medal and Palmes Academique, Chevarier, from the Government of France.
Hideo Mohri, D.Sc.