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

BRI's mission is to advance scientific research on the nervous system of the brain. This mission has its roots in the historical background developed through the clinical care of neurosurgical cases in the School of Medicine. BRI's integrated approach, combining research, clinical work, and educational activities, is a significant strength. Our research at BRI spans a wide spectrum, encompassing Basic Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience-related research, and studies on human brain diseases. Pathological Neuroscience, which bridges these two areas, along with integrated research across these three domains, contributes significantly to our progress, positioning BRI as one of the most desirable institutes for brain disease research in Japan. To continue our pursuit of cutting-edge research, BRI is dedicated to training capable researchers and advancing clinical medicine. The following section provides more details about BRI's activities.

Medical Practice

The two departments of neurosurgery and neurology offer medical care, but what sets them apart is that all their activities, including outpatient care, hospital rooms, operating rooms, and x-ray rooms, take place within Niigata University Hospital. This natural arrangement reflects the significance of the cranial nervous system, which is integral to the human body. These two departments maintain continuous collaboration with related clinical departments in the Faculty of Medicine to ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatment.

The Neurosurgery Department conducts clinical consultations for outpatients in the morning hours on Mondays and Wednesdays. We receive referrals from hospitals in and around Niigata for a variety of cases, including brain tumors, cerebrovascular disorders, and pediatric congenital deformities. Currently, we have a total of 30 beds available for inpatient care, and we perform approximately 400 brain surgeries each year. This spring, we introduced new operating microscopes and cerebral angiography equipment, and the entire Neurosurgery team is dedicated to providing treatment, including cutting-edge and highly complex surgeries.

The Neurology Department offers outpatient care on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Patients seek care from both within Niigata and other regions of Japan. In the fiscal year 2022, we treated a total of 11,740 outpatients and admitted 11,520 inpatients. Our patient cases encompass a wide range, including dementia, demyelination, degenerative disorders, metabolic conditions, and cerebrovascular diseases.

Both of these clinical departments also maintain close relationships with other hospitals, both within and outside Niigata Prefecture. The Neurosurgery department collaborates with 29 hospitals, while the Neurology department works closely with 26 hospitals, playing central roles in the medical practices of these affiliated institutions.

The Department of Pathology conducts pathological examinations for over 400 surgical cases and 40 to 50 autopsy cases annually, in response to requests from both the two clinical departments and other institutes across Japan.


The succession and development of innovative research and the provision of the best clinical care always rely on the training of the younger generation. BRI actively trains young researchers alongside its research activities. BRI labs are actively involved in educating undergraduate students at Niigata University in their respective fields of specialization. In the basic science departments, we offer lectures and research training in advanced medical science and neurosciences, fostering the next generation of scholars. The two clinical departments provide clinical lectures, polyclinical and bedside education within the Faculty of Medicine, and the Pathology Department collaborates in clinical training with the Faculty of Medicine. Additionally, each department is affiliated with the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, which welcomes students from various departments, including medicine, science, engineering, pharmacy, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and humanities, from both Japan and overseas. We provide education and research guidance for graduate students in master's and doctoral programs.

The Niigata Society for Brain and Neuroscience Research has played a significant role in shaping BRI's history of nurturing researchers. Founded by Prof. Mizuho Nakata and Prof. Koh Hirasawa, the society held its inaugural meeting at Lecture Hall #2, School of Medicine, on September 28, 1938, providing a platform for open discussions. Over the years, these regular meetings have continued, totaling 318 to date, and have made substantial contributions to numerous research achievements and the training of future medical doctors and researchers. Furthermore, BRI has annually organized the 'Niigata Summer Seminar for Neuroscience,' aimed at educating young researchers from across Japan in the field of neuroscience. Participants gain access to cutting-edge knowledge on specific topics through seminars and on-site training courses, led by experts from both BRI and the broader scientific community at the forefront of neuroscience research. Starting from the 50th meeting in 2020, this event was renamed the 'Niigata Nouken Seminar for Neuroscience.' The most recent two meetings have been held with a focus on facilitating interactions within the institute, as a response to the impact of COVID-19.

Each department conducts weekly discussion meetings for graduate and research students to assess their research progress and foster an intellectually stimulating environment. Notably, the Department of Pathology and the Brain Science Branch hold weekly conferences on tissue diagnosis and gross brain examination (known as brain-cutting) in collaboration with physicians. These meetings and conferences establish a cohesive approach, spanning from autopsy to tissue diagnosis. The Niigata Clinicopathological Conference on Neurology serves as an interdisciplinary platform for discussing autopsy cases from the Department of Pathology and the Brain Science Branch. Physicians and graduate students from Niigata University and other hospitals come together to engage in discussions encompassing diagnosis, treatment techniques, and etiology for each case. Additionally, the two clinical departments jointly organize various conferences to promote clinical studies and facilitate beneficial discussions, including the Niigata Research Society of Stroke, the Niigata Research Society of Medical Imaging, and the Niigata Discussion Meeting of Neurosurgery.

These educational activities are further bolstered by the exchange of findings and ideas among BRI researchers. Researchers are encouraged to engage in open discussions about their research findings and hypotheses with their colleagues, physicians, and professors. Moreover, BRI maintains a robust network with the School of Medicine and other universities.