Aiming for Smart Aging: The Implementation of Health and Longevity
The Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Cancer, formerly called the Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Leprosy, was founded in 1941 as the second Research Institute of Tohoku University with the purpose of overcoming leprosy and tuberculosis. In 1993, reorganizations were made, and the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC) was created. “Aging” is defined as the phenomenon of development from birth, maturation and aging, to death. At IDAC, we study the control mechanism of aging and age-related diseases. In 2009, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Science officially recognized us as a Research Center for Aging and Cancer.
Japan is currently becoming an unparalleled super-aged society in which the elderly make up more than 25% of the population. In addition to the decline in birthrate, there is also a decline in the working population. In order to maintain a healthy society, it is clear that urgent measures must be taken. Supporting an aging population has been recognized as a common issue among developed countries. We believe that in this super-aged society, for individuals and the population at large to remain healthy, peaceful, and continue to have vigor, it is important to adopt the following approach: “With the passing of time, individuals, even into old age, continue grow and gain wisdom. This results in the structures of society evolving to become more prudent and sustainable.” We call this approach “Smart Aging.”
IDAC is one of the few research institutes in the world that manages comprehensive multi-hierarchical medical research to focus on the complex mechanism of aging, by means ranging from studying genes and cells using molecular biology techniques to directly studying people. Specifically, we are aiming to realize “smart aging”, the health and longevity of individuals, for everyone to welcome old age with liveliness and continue to be able to work in society. To make this possible, our goal is to provide medical support and policies as well as becoming a leading research center by showing the world that we can be a role model for managing a super-aging society.