INTELLIGENCE. INGENUITY. INNOVATION.
We are always on the look-out for talented individuals who excel in their area of study and are able to find practical real-world applications for their research. Come and join us for your future endeavors and to find out more about what we can achieve together.”
Ryuta Kawashima, MD
About Kawashima Laboratory
Kawashima laboratory was newly established in April 2006 at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer. Initially, our research activity began as the Functional Brain Imaging Laboratory, Advanced Science and Technology of Materials, and the New Industry Creation Hatchery Center at Tohoku University in May 2001. Since then, we have set Functional Brain Imaging research as our central focus, and we have been performing studies with the goal to create a new industry from the knowledge and technology of brain science. As a result, the Smart Aging International Research Center (SAIRC) was founded in October 2009; shortly thereafter in April 2010, the Department of Advanced Brain Science was established. Five years later, the Pre-Clinical Research Center was founded together with the Department of Ubiquitous Sensing in April 2015. Currently, while attaining many achievements in basic brain function research, we have managed to create and develop a new industry category called “Train your Brain”.
In general, researchers in our laboratory come from a wide variety of backgrounds including medicine, science, life science, engineering, pharmacy, linguistics, pedagogy and the arts. We work energetically on a wide range of brain science studies from brain dynamics research (designed to determine the metabolism and circulation of brain cells in small animals); to functional brain imaging research (creating images of the working of the mind); and finally to social technology study (applying our findings to the fields of education and social welfare). In sum, Kawashima Laboratory consists of three departments: 1) Advanced Brain Science, 2) Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and 3) Ubiquitous Sensing.
Specifically, we have two pillars of research: brain science and social technology research. In addition to functional brain research using a super-high magnetic field MRI device, the first includes brain dynamics research, which uses an advanced two-photon microscope and a multi-channel neuron activity recorder (self-financed by the proceeds from our industry-university cooperative projects). The second pillar of research is giving “academic knowledge” back to society to benefit humankind on a global scale.
In brain science research, we focus mainly on functional brain imaging and brain dynamics, specifically the “human mind”. Here, we are trying to find answers to eternal questions of both natural science and humanity, such as “For what purpose do humans exist?” and “Where did humans come from and where will we go?”. In brain dynamics research, we are elucidating the principles of brain activity by studying neuronal activity and metabolism as well as microcirculatory dynamics in small animals.
Moreover, in social technology research, we aim to open new possible approaches to the field of education and social welfare from the viewpoint of brain science. Although this is a new and uncharted field of research, we expect to overcome many of the challenges through our diverse capabilities and past achievements. Students and researchers with motivation and enthusiasm for this field of study are welcome to be part of this new frontier; and since we are more than willing to cooperate with different industries, we gracefully welcome the private sector to take part as well (please contact the consultation services of Tohoku University if your company wishes to implement joint collaborative research with our laboratory).
In terms of our laboratory’s internal structure, we hold regular ‘English only’ preliminary meetings. The reason for this is that our laboratory is proud to have may foreign members and English speaking support staff, and we believe the importance of training and enabling students and researchers to discuss their own research in English on a routine basis. Since our goal is to conduct world-class research, meetings in English have naturally become a requirement for our research presentations. In addition, all students in our graduate program will have a chance to debut and take part in several domestic and international conferences throughout their academic career at Kawashima Laboratory.
On a final note, since “the brain” itself is human, research background is not a prerequisite for joining our departments. However, what we do require is for all members to have an “inquiring mind”, which we feel is vital to any research environment; in return, we will support studies based on individual intellectual curiosity. We hope that many students and researchers from across the globe will be motivated to join our team, making a worldwide difference with the knowledge and experience gained from our laboratory.