History

BRI Development

Brain Research Institute, Niigata University was established in 1967 as the first affiliated research institute of the national universities in Japan on brain and related fields for the purpose of studying the principles and application of brain and its diseases.

From Niigata Neurological Research Society to Research Facility of Neurosurgery at Niigata University Medical School

Brain Research Institute has its roots in Niigata Neurological Research Society established in 1938.

The research group provided a platform for information exchange to basic medical scientists and clinical practitioners who both have strong interest in neuroscience at the time, and raised motivation for joint research.

The group was eventually acknowledged its solid performance in on-campus joint research, the national government gave approval to the establishment of Research Facility of Neurosurgery at Niigata University Medical School in 1957. While there were already brain research facilities at other universities at the time, Niigata University was expected to establish a facility giving an emphasis on clinical practice.

The first faculty in the newly-founded Research Facility of Neurosurgery at Niigata University Medical School was Neurophysiology, followed by Morphology in 1958, Neurochemistry in 1961, Neurosurgery in 1962 (shifted from Surgery II, School of Medicine) and Neurology in 1964.

Also, two clinical departments were added to Niigata University Hospital: Neurosurgery in 1963 (shifted from Surgery II) and Neurology in 1965.

All faculties of the facility involved in training medical students in their respective fields of specialization. The faculties also taught and supervised the research of graduate students from the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences. The two clinical departments provided clinical education and practice to medical and research students.

As each faculty collaborates on research activities with researchers from medical school, particularly in collaboration between basic neuroscience and clinical neuroscience, a wide range of joint research projects were carried out on epilepsy, brain tumor, physiology of hearing, brain edema, brain plasticity and so forth.

From Research Facility of Neurosurgery, Niigata University Medical School to Brain Research Institute

In 1967, Research Facility of Neurosurgery, Niigata University Medical School advanced to a university affiliated research institute, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University.

The five existing faculties remained in the institute while Faculty of Morphology was renamed into Neuropathology.

The institute subsequently expanded to include Faculty of Neuropharmacology (1970), a new Brain Disorder Specimen Center (1971), Faculty of Experimental Neuropathology (1973), and Faculty of Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program, 1984), boasting a total of eight faculties and one center.

Faculty of Neurobiology was later temporarily switched to Developmental Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program) in 1994.

As BRI developed, the research fields became diverse and the findings were assuredly accumulated. The research projects focused on determining the etiology of Minamata disease and SMON (subacute myelo-optico-neuropathy), and on brain death and diagnosis of brain death are especially the important achievements that BRI has contributed to various treatment methods and to society in general.

In recent years, BRI has extensively conducted a number of molecular biological researches employing genetic engineering and has made cutting-edge contributions in the field of the structure and function of excitatory amino acid receptors and the pathology of brain-specific proteins and of genetic neurological disorders in particular.

Adopting a grand branch structure

BRI responds to the current global transformation and progress in neuroscience research, as well as to the specific social needs for developing new treatments of the exploding number of patients with dementia and other brain diseases.

Reorganization in April 1995 resulted in BRI's new structure that consists of three branches and eight departments: Basic Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Molecular Neurobiology, Cellular Neurobiology, Neurophysiology, and Developmental Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program)), Pathological Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Pathology and Molecular Neuropathology), and Clinical Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Neurosurgery and Neurology). Brain Disorder Specimen Center was renamed into Brain Disorder Analysis Center.

In April 2002, Brain Disorder Analysis Center was transformed into two centers: Center of Integrated Human Brain Science (CIHBS) and Center for Bioresource-based Researches. The former sets a principal goal to study human higher brain functions using non-invasive technologies such as MRI. The latter was merged with Genetic Research Facility of Niigata University and Animal Testing Facility, School of Medicine and holds a comprehensive collection of scientific materials including neuropathological specimens, animal models and genomic data base for boosting related research.

From incorporation to present

In April 2004, due to the institutional reform of national universities nationwide, Niigata University set out as a national university corporation and more stringent competition principle was introduced.

To be responsive to the new trend, BRI has carried out organizational change in April 2006, aiming at increasing mobility of research personnel and enhancing individual autonomy of young investigators. While the existing structure of three departments and two affiliated centers remained the same, both Dept. of Molecular Neuropathology in Pathological Neuroscience Branch and Dept. Bioinformatics in CIHBS were transformed into Dept. of Digital Pathology and Dept. of Digital Medicine respectively.Also, three branches at Center for Bioresource-based Researches was reorganized into two branches: Bioresource Science Branch and Brain Science Branch. Dept. of Project Programs was set up in the latter branch.

BRI was certified as a joint usage / research center, "the Advanced Collaborative Research Center for Brain Diseases Utilizing Neuropathological Specimens" by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in June 2009.BRI renewed the MEXT's certification of a joint usage / research center under the altered title "the Collaborative Research Center for Brain Diseases Utilizing Neuropathological Resources" in January 2016 and continues to broaden the field of joint research from April 2016.

Timeline

1957 Apr Research Facility of Neurosurgery at School of Medicine, the origin of Brain Research Institute is founded, embracing the Faculty of Neurophysiology.
1958 Apr Faculty of Morphology is set up.
1961 Apr Faculty of Neurochemistry is set up.
1962 Apr Faculty of Neurosurgery is set up.
1963 Apr Department of Neurosurgery is set up in the University Hospital.
1964 Apr Faculty of Neurology is set up.
1965 Apr Department of Neurology is set up in the University Hospital.
1967 Jun Research Facility of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine is transformed into Brain Research Institute.
Aug Administration Office is launched. Faculty of Morphology is renamed Faculty of Neuropathology.
1969 Jun Two sections (General Affairs and Accounting) are set in the Administration Office.
1970 Apr Faculty of Neuropharmacology is set up.
1971 Apr Brain Disorder Specimen Center is set up.
1973 Apr Faculty of Experimental Neuropathology is set up.
1976 Mar New Research Building opens.(3,467m2)
May BRI Radioisotope Research Laboratory is set up.
1977 Mar New Brain Disorder Specimen Center opens.(531m2)
1984 Apr Faculty of Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program) is set up.
1986 Mar Research Building extension is completed; 1,018m2 of animal testing laboratory and other laboratories are added.
1994 Apr Faculty of Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program) closes.
Jun Faculty of Developmental Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program) is set up.
1995 Apr Reorganization results in BRI's new structure of 3 big branches: Basic Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Molecular Neurobiology, Cellular Neurobiology, Neurophysiology, and Developmental Neurobiology), Pathological Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Pathology and Molecular Neuropathology), and Clinical Neuroscience Branch (Depts. of Neurosurgery and Neurology). Brain Disorder Specimen Center is renamed Brain Disorder Analysis Center.
1996 Mar Ultra-high Magnetic Field MRI Research Building opens.(251m2)
1999 Sep Ultra-high Magnetic Field MRI Research Building extension is completed.(149m2)
2002 Apr Brain Disorder Analysis Center is transformed into 2 Centers: Center of Integrated Human Brain Science and Center for Bioresource-based Researches. The latter merges with Genetic Research Facility of Niigata University and Animal Testing Facility, School of Medicine.
2003 Mar Center for Integrated Human Brain Science (CIHBS) Building opens.(3,969m2)
2006 Apr Reformed Center for Bioresource-based Researches consists of 2 Branches: Bioresource Science Branch and Brain Science Branch. Dept. of Project Programs is added to Brain Science Branch.
Depts. of Molecular Neuropathology (Pathological Neuroscience Branch) and Bioinformatics (CIHBS) are transformed into Depts. of Digital Pathology and Digital Medicine respectively.
CIHBS PET Building opens.(416m2)
2007 Aug Mizuho Nakata Memorial Room moves to CIHBS Building.
mn1-1.JPG mnroom1-1.JPG
Oct BRI holds a reception, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
2008 Dec Center for Bioresource-based Researches extension is completed.(200m2)
2009 Apr BRI Radioisotope Research Laboratory closes.
Jun BRI is certified as a Joint Usage/Research Center by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). ("the Advanced Collaborative Research Center for Brain Diseases Utilizing Neuropathological Specimens", start date: April 1, 2010)
2010 Jan Earthquake retrofits of Building A and B are completed.
Apr Joint Usage Section is added to the administration office.
2011 Apr Dept. of Developmental Neurobiology (Visiting Professor Program) closes and Dept. of Molecular Neuropathology (Visiting Professor Program) is set up.
2012 Dec Earthquake retrofit of Building C is completed.
2013 Jul Earthquake retrofit of Animal testing facility is completed.
2016 Jan BRI renews MEXT's certification on the Joint Usage / Research Center.
Apr BRI joint usage/research center is renamed "Collaborative Research Center for Brain Diseases Utilizing Neuropathological Resources".
2017 May Dept. of Project Programs closes and Dept. of System Pathology for Neurological Disorders is set up at Brain Science Branch, Center for Bioresource-based Researches.
Dept. of Translational Research is set up at Brain Science Branch, Center for Bioresource-based Researches.
2018 Apr Dept. of Cellular Neurobiology closes and Dept. of Cellular Neuropathology is set up at Basic Neuroscience Branch.
Dept. of Animal Model Development is set up at Bioresource Science Branch, Center for Bioresource-based Researches.

Related Sites

  • Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Niigata University
  • Niigata University
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