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Human resource development objectives
As a result of the fusion of the life sciences with information science, a paradigm shift is taking place in life sciences such as disease prevention science. With the Disease Prevention Science Course, four Tokyo-based universities (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Ochanomizu University, Gakushuin University, and Kitasato University) will create the new discipline of disease prevention science by transcending graduate school boundaries to combine each university’s strengths in the field of the life sciences.
For the human resources to be developed by the Disease Prevention Science Course, our objectives are to nurture people with basic abilities of a data scientist capable of properly managing and analyzing personal information with a strong sense of ethics, people who will spur innovation in society by solving various types of problems in the disease prevention science field, and people who are good at identifying problems and who can be active internationally.
The human resources to be developed by this course
・People who can take a broad perspective on future trends and acquire an overall grasp of medical science, leading-edge life sciences, and disease prevention science.
・People who can analyze information on individual genes as well as the large volume of information being generated by medical and other devices.
・People who can lead innovative medical device R&D and pharmaceutical R&D within their organizations.
・People who are thoroughly familiar with methods for handling the medical information of individuals and who can keep societal considerations in mind.
・People who have overall knowledge of management and can lead R&D efforts.
Taking into consideration the human resource development objectives of this course, in addition to the particulars set forth in the individual admission policies of the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School Life Science and Technology Track and the Ochanomizu University Graduate School Division of Life Sciences, we are seeking people to whom the following statements apply.
・People who want to systematically acquire a wide range of knowledge concerning disease prevention.
・People who want to analyze and use information on individual genes as well as the large volume of information being generated by medical and other devices.
・People who want to contribute to society through information analysis.
・People who are enthusiastic about actively interacting with people from other fields (both inside and outside Japan) and creating new value
By providing a wide-ranging education in the disease prevention field, give students a broad perspective, and at the same time provide them with an education that encompasses methods for analyzing, using, ethically handling, and utilizing in an industry setting information on individual genes and related disease prevention information.
・Develop the student’ s ability to acquire an overall grasp of medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, sitology, informatics, and statistics.
・Develop the student’s ability to analyze information on individual genes as well as the large volume of information being generated by medical and other devices.
・Develop the student’s ability to address societal problems related to the handling of personal information.
・Develop the student’s ability to acquire knowledge of management and communication theory and to lead R&D efforts.
Academic degrees will be conferred upon students who are enrolled for the prescribed period, who complete the acquisition of the credits required for completion of this course, who complete the study of the subjects established for their major and acquire the credits required for completion, who pass the doctoral dissertation review and final examination of their major, and who have acquired the abilities indicated below. The name of the academic degree shall be doctor of science or doctor of philosophy in the life science field and doctor of engineering in the bioengineering field.
・Student has produced distinguished research results and has research abilities that will make it possible to contribute to the development of disease prevention science.
・Student has a strong sense of ethics and is able to understand societal problems related to genetic information and properly manage such information.
・Student is able to analyze information on individual genes as well as the large volume of information being generated by medical and other devices.
・Student has a high level of communication ability and is able to manage R&D efforts and be active internationally.
Improving the Level of Education
Efforts to Improve the Level of Education by the Education Improvement Team
Dr. Tetsuyuki Kobayashi, Professor, Ochanomizu University
Japan today faces a turning point as significant to society qualitatively as the Meiji Restoration. Reform is required in secondary education from the ground up to meet growing societal demands. The four graduate schools in this consortium each bring to the table special features and unique histories, which contribute unique characteristics to the life sciences and to interdisciplinary education and research. The cross-disciplinary educational system we are creating takes advantage of the special features of each university and transcends the existing framework of a public or private university in Japan. The system will provide a new kind of graduate school education offering complementary components in the field of interdisciplinary life sciences. The Education Improvement Team aims to produce life scientists who are flexible in meeting the needs of society and have acquired specialization across a broad range of fields. Utilizing an effective collaboration among the four universities, we have focused specifically on the following three core areas to expand the complementary components of graduate school education.
1. Development of a common curriculum and improvement through credit exchanges
Graduate programs tend to lack a structured syllabus in comparison to undergraduate programs. To improve this situation, we identified common subjects that draw upon the individual strengths of each university and implemented a system of credit exchange to allow students of the four universities to take classes at each other’s universities. The four universities thus developed a common curriculum of complementary courses in the life sciences and created a syllabus, including courses related to the life sciences, elective courses in the humanities and the social sciences, and classes taught in English, whether by Japanese or non-Japanese instructors.
2. Joint implementation of faculty development (FD)
Graduate school education today is undergoing change around the world, particularly in Europe. In the graduate school programs related to this consortium, it is important for faculty to acquire skills and knowledge in line with international faculty development standards. The aim of this effort is improve the capabilities of individual faculty members while working to deepen exchanges among faculty of the four universities. It is also designed for the sharing of information and skills related to research and education that form the foundation of graduate school education. To accomplish these things, we plan to host many kinds of FD training sessions and seminars for faculty from the four participating universities, including seminars to study the realities and problems facing graduate school education systems both inside and outside Japan, and seminars to improve skills in giving lectures in English.
3. Standardization of degree requirements
Many problems are recognized today with regard to degree requirements in graduate school programs. By standardizing degree requirements among the four universities related to interdisciplinary life sciences, the consortium is working to make requirements both stricter and more transparent. We also plan to establish an effective system among the four universities that will enable faculty to provide individualized research guidance to students across university boundaries depending on the student’s research topic. As an extension, a system is being set up whereby faculty from other participating universities can participate in setting degree requirements.
■Common Curriculum: 94% of participating students agreed, “Taking a class at another university was worth it”!
A common curriculum was implemented in April 2010 that allows credits to be obtained by graduate students in the Master’s program for specific classes at any of the four universities participating in the Tokyo Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Consortium (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Ochanomizu University, Gakushuin University, and Kitasato University). Improving graduate school education also relies on a system of credit exchange among the four universities, providing common courses within complementary subject groups in the life sciences and related research areas.
■□ From a questionnaire of students in the program (first semester, 2010) □■
• “I found a new interest by taking a class at another university.”
• “It was exciting to interact with students from another university studying in the same field.” (Further results of the questionnaire to be published.)
Common Curriculum (credit exchange)
Graduate students of the four universities participating in the Tokyo Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Consortium, viz. Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Ochanomizu University, Gakushuin University, and Kitasato University, may take Master’s program classes at any of the other graduate schools within the common curriculum and obtain credit for the course.
The effective use of a system of individualized guidance to be established among the four universities will enable faculty from one university to provide research guidance to a student attending another university, depending on the student’s research topic. As an extension, a system is being set up whereby faculty from other participating universities can participate in setting degree requirements.
Many kinds of FD training sessions and seminars will be held for faculty from the four participating universities, including seminars to study the realities and problems facing graduate school education systems both inside and outside Japan, and seminars to improve skills in giving lectures in English. Your participation is awaited.