The Institute was founded in 1941 with the aim of promoting basic and clinical studies on tuberculosis and leprosy which were most fatal diseases at that time. After we played a role as a research center for diagnosis and therapy of tuberculosis and almost completed our mission, we re-focused our research field on cancer since the late 50’s and have made considerable achievements in the development of diagnosis and therapy of cancer.
In 1993, we re-organized our institute and made a new start by changing the name into "Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer" with the purpose of being ahead of the demands of the emerging super-aging society. "Aging" means getting old in general, but we, IDAC, define it as medicine and biology on the whole process of human life, such as fertilization, development, growth, maturation, and senescence. "To control age-related neurological disorders, such as dementia and intractable cancer" is a large social demand in the 21st century and it is our ultimate goal. In order to attain this goal, our basic research aspires to make clear the molecular mechanisms of development and differentiation, carcinogenesis, and self defense mechanisms. Based on the molecular principles which were revealed by our basic research, we have developed advanced methods of diagnosis and therapy for intractable diseases which are caused by aging. Then, these new methods have been applied to clinical practice at Tohoku University Hospital. We firstly developed ultrasound echo imaging, cancer diagnostics by positron emission tomography (PET), and lung transplantation from brain death donor, respectively.
When, in 2004, all national universities were turned into independent administrative entities, we consolidated a new administration system as well as the research organization in order to achieve the center of excellence in the field of aging and cancer. Recently, our institute was approved by the government to be to a "Collaborative Research Center for Aging ". We have prepared equipments for collaborative research, resources and techniques and build up an administration system. To be a center of excellence in this filed, we will promote researches under 3 major research stream, which are (1)molecular mechanism of aging and self defense system, (2)molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis and cancer control, (3)brain maturation and aging, and control of age-related brain diseases.
We held a memorial ceremony for 70th anniversary of IDAC and international symposium on November 28-29, 2011. Through these events, we could give message to the future by looking back to the past missions and contributions of our institute, which we have continued until now. Another purpose of these events is to show recovery and reconstruction of our institute from the Great EAST Japan Earthquake. We all in one will push forward to realize “smart aging”. As always, we appreciate your continuing support and understanding of our activities.