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 Society for Neuroscience Research to Research Facility of Neurosurgery at Niigata University Medical School
Brain Research Institute has its roots in Niigata Society for Neuroscience Research 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.
|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.
|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.
|2020||Apr||Dept. of Neurophysiology closes, and Dept. of Brain Tumor Biology is set up at Basic Neuroscience Branch.
Dept. of System Pathology for Neurological Disorders is transferred from Brain Science Branch, Center for Bioresource-based Researches to Basic Neuroscience Branch.
Dept. of Neuroscience of Disease is transferred from Center for Transdisciplinary Research, Institute for Research Promotion to Brain Science Branch, Center for Bioresource-based Researches.