A wide range of research activities at BRI enhances to train the next generation of leaders in science and medicine.

BRI's mission is to advance scientific research on the nervous system of the brain. BRI has a historical background that has developed through the clinical care of neurosurgical cases in the School of Medicine. BRI offering an integrated approach to its research, along with clinical and educational activities, is therefore a great strength. The research at BRI covers a wide spectrum from Basic Neuroscience to Clinical Neuroscience related research to human brain disease. Pathological Neuroscience that bridges these two areas and the integrated research of these three areas brings greater progress, making BRI one of the most desirable institutes for research on brain disease in Japan. In order to continue to engage in cutting-edge research, BRI is dedicated to training competent researchers. BRI is also dedicated to research in the clinical area to advance medicine. The following introduces the details of BRI activity:

Medical Practice

It is clear that the nervous system of brain is the most important part of human body. The two clinical departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at BRI provide medical care in the University Hospital. These two departments also work in concert with other clinical departments to deliver appropriate medical care to patients.

Neurosurgery Department operates clinical consultations for outpatients at the morning hours on Mondays and Wednesdays. A number of cases including brain tumor, cerebrovascular disorder and pediatric congenital deformities have been referred by other hospitals in and around Niigata. There are at present a total of 40 beds available for inpatient use, and approximately 440 cases of brain surgery are performed per year.

Neurology Department treats outpatients at the morning hours every weekday, and has 37 inpatient beds of its own, which are always fully occupied. Patients come from across the prefecture and other areas in Japan, and in fiscal year 2020, a total of 13,273 outpatients were seen, and a total of 11,306 inpatients were admitted. The cases seen include dementia, demyelination, degeneration, metabolism and cerebrovascular disease.

The two clinical departments above also maintain close ties with related hospitals both in and outside the prefecture (29 hospitals for Neurosurgery and 26 hospitals for Neurology), and play central roles in medical practice taken place in those related hospitals.

The Department of Pathology carries out pathological examination of over 400 surgical cases and 40 to 50 autopsy cases a year at the request of the two clinical departments as well as other institutes across Japan.


Based on the principle that innovative research and the best clinical care depend on educating researchers, BRI is committed to train young researchers. The eight departments of BRI (Molecular Neurobiology, Brain Tumor Biology, Cellular Neuropathology, System Pathology for Neurological Disorders, Pathology, Molecular Neuropathology, Neurosurgery and Neurology), and the two centers (Integrated Human Brain Science and Bioresource-based Researches), are all involved in educating medical students in their respective fields of specialization. These departments and centers also teach and supervise the research of graduate students from the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Niigata Society for Brain and Neuroscience Research shapes BRI's history of educating researchers. Prof. Mizuho Nakata and Prof. Koh Hirasawa, as its founding members, held the first meeting at Lecture Hall #2, the School of Medicine on September 28 in 1938 to provide a place for open discussion. The regular meetings have been held up to now, for a total of 318 times, and have greatly contributed to the numerous research achievements and the training of future generation of medical doctors and researchers.

Each department hosts discussion meetings on weekly basis for graduate and research students to evaluate their research developments and to ensure an intellectual and stimulating environment. Department of Pathology and Brain Science Branch hold weekly conference on tissue diagnosis and gross examination on brain (brain-cutting) with physicians. Such meetings and conferences serve coherent approach from autopsy to tissue diagnosis. Niigata Clinicopathological Conference on Neurology offers interdisciplinary activity that discusses autopsy cases of Department of Pathology and Brain Science Branch. Physicians and graduate students from Niigata University and other hospitals come together to discuss diagnosis, treatment techniques and etiology on each case.

Weekly case conference takes a close look at individual cases and contributes to enhance techniques in neuro radiodiagnostics. Two clinical departments jointly host various conferences for clinical study to provide opportunities for beneficial discussion: Niigata Research Society of Stroke (twice a year), Niigata Research Society of Silent Brain Disease, Niigata Discussion Meeting of Clinical Neurology, Niigata Research Society of Dementia, Niigata Discussion Meeting of Epilepsy and Niigata Research Society of Medical Imaging (once a year).

Such educational activities above are even more strengthened by the exchange of findings and ideas among researchers at BRI. Researchers are open to discuss their discoveries and hypotheses with colleagues, physicians and professors. Furthermore, BRI have a rich network with the School of Medicine and other universities.