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The Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Cancer (formerly the Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Leprosy), was founded in 1941 by the late professor Taizo KUMAGAI as its director. At the time the Institute was established, it was the second Research Institute of Tohoku University with the purpose of overcoming leprosy and tuberculosis, with departments in three different disciplines: Internal Medicine, Leprosy and Pathological Anatomy.


In 1944, three more departments were added, namely Bacteriology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology. A few years shortly thereafter, the Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics were added in 1950 and 1953. Since then, the area of research has been widened to cover both fundamental and clinical oncology. The practical knowledge and expertise acquired during almost two decades of tuberculosis research was then applied to the study of cancer. As a result, the Department of Lung Cancer was established in 1958 and the Department of Cancer Chemotherapy in 1962.


After several years of in-depth research, an informal committee of professors from the Institute declared a new ambitious program on cancer research in August 1966. Since then, a number of cancer research projects have been subsidized by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, together with other Ministries of the Japanese Government. Subsequently, the Department of Radiology was established in 1967 and the Department of Clinical Cancer Chemotherapy in 1969.


Due to a growth in research facilities and staff, the Institute took another great leap forward in July 1977, when it moved from the Hirose-machi area to its present site located in Seiryo-machi. During the transition, the Department of Leprosy was replaced by the Department of Immunology, and the Department of Microbiology (formerly the Department of Bacteriology), was reorganized as the Department of Cell Biology. Two years later, the Department of Medical Engineering and Cardiology was established in 1979.


The Institute’s long history was marked by another milestone when the Tumor Cell Repository attached to the Institute was inaugurated in 1984 in order to meet the demand of researchers throughout Japan and the world. By this time, the Institute comprised of thirteen Departments, a Cancer Cell Repository, an Animal Laboratory for Tumor Research, and a Radioisotope Laboratory. Almost a decade later in 1993, the establishment was renamed as the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC) to reflect its commitment to Smart-Aging research. At this point in IDAC’s modest history, the Institute consisted of five Divisions: Gene Research, Developmental Biology and Medicine, Organ Pathophysiology, Cancer Control and Brain Sciences, including sixteen departments with full research facilities.


In 1997, the Cancer Cell Repository was converted to a Cell Resource Center for Biomedical Research, and the Genome Research Center was founded in 2004. Five years later, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Science officially recognized IDAC as a Research Center for Aging and Cancer in 2009. In December 2018, the Department of Cognitive Health Science was established; and in addition, the Department of Metabolic Bioregulation in January 2019. The Institute is often abbreviated and called “Kareiken” in Japanese.




Successive directors and hospital directors

Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Leprosy

Directors (since establishment in 1941)

  • Taizo Kumagai (1941-1948)
  • Toshiaki Ebina (1948-1963)
  • Saburo Sato (1963-1968)
  • Chikashi Suzuki (1968-1974)
  • Tatsuo Saito (1974-1978)
  • Haruo Sato (1978-1984)
  • Kiyoshi Konno (1984-1987)
  • Shigeru Tsuiki (1987-1990)
  • Akira Wakui (1990-1991)
  • Masakichi Motomiya (1991-1992)
  • Minro Watanabe (1992-1993)


Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer


  • Minro Watanabe (1993-1996)
  • Tasuke Konno (1996-1998)
  • Shigefumi Fujimura (1998-2000)
  • Masuo Obinata (2000-2006)
  • Hiroshi Fukuda (2006-2012)
  • Masanobu Satake (2012-2014)
  • Ryuta Kawashima (2014-2023)
  • Kozo Tanaka (2023-present)


Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Leprosy

Hospital directors (since establishment in 1964)

  • Sutemi Oka (1964-1973)
  • Tatsuo Saito (1973 -1974)
  • Kiyoshi Konno (1974-1982)
  • Akira Wakui (1982-1984)
  • Tasuku Nakata (1984-1989)
  • Akira Wakui (1989-1990)
  • Masayoshi Motomiya (1990-1991)
  • Shigefumi Fujimura (1991-1993)


Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer

Hospital directors

  • Shigefumi Fujimura (1991-1993)
  • Ryunosuke Kanemaru (1998-2000)