Nagoya University

Graduate Program of Transformative Chem-Bio Research



The best way to acquire real research power is to accumulate experience with promoting and accomplishing exciting high-quality research on your own initiative.

Our new graduate program, GTR (Graduate Program of Transformative Chem-Bio Research), aims to train scholars who will pioneer interdisciplinary frontiers in the areas of chemistry and life science. In order to achieve sustainable development of society, many challenges must be overcome, including environmental and energy problems, stable food production, the development of materials leading to industrial and technological innovations, and life science research that contributes to health. To address these issues faced by science and society, the roles of chemistry and life science research are becoming increasingly important. To break through these issues, both advances in research in each field and promotion of interdisciplinary research are necessary.

To bridge the gaps between traditional disciplines, we need outstanding "research power to break through," which consists of two elements: "the power to overcome" and "the power to connect." The former is based on experience, confidence, and solid practical knowledge and skills that can be fostered through promoting and accomplishing high-quality research on important topics. On the other hand, the latter leads to the creation of innovative ideas through free and vigorous discussions across research fields.

The GTR program provides a practical course for acquiring these important research capabilities through challenge to exciting interdisciplinary research in diverse research environments in which each student benefits from the guidance of two mentors.

GTR's Mixed Lab Concept to Cultivate Research Power to Achieve Breakthroughs

GTR promotes the development of research power to achieve breakthroughs by implementing the following four plans:

Proposal for interdisciplinary research
Proposing an interdisciplinary research project to tackle outstanding problems confronting science and society (Implemented as the QE [Qualifying Examination]) at the completion of M1.
Conducting research in environments of different disciplines
To conduct interdisciplinary research, students are enrolled in a mixed lab or multiple laboratories to research.
Visiting foreign research institutes or companies over the mid- or long-term
Students may conduct their research at a foreign collaborating institution or a company as part of the interdisciplinary research. For international joint research, students are encouraged to stay at a foreign institution for at least 6 months.
Receiving instruction from two mentors
Students benefit from the guidance of two mentors while writing their interdisciplinary thesis.
What is a mixed lab?
Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University, has set up mixed labs to be shared by researchers and students from different disciplines. Interdisciplinary research has been conducted in a lively atmosphere ever since its inception, producing numerous world-class results. GTR offers a curriculum incorporating the concept of a mixed lab.

Educational Research that Connects with the Society

The GTR focuses on studying important problems and endeavors to finding solutions. From this standpoint, GTR promotes interdisciplinary research that contributes to the creation of industries and technological innovation; energy issues; food issues; life sciences, which promote health; and environmental issues. All of these are defined as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The GTR also collaborates with the three core companies Kaneka, Konica Minolta, and JT Plant Innovation Center, ITbM Consortium, which consists of 17 companies as of 2018, as well as GTR supporter companies, in order to develop researchers who will be able to bring solutions to societal issues based on fundamental research.
We believe that communicating with industry-leading researchers will help students develop their career paths.

Message from industry-leading researchers

Hiroshi Kita,
Technology Fellow and General Manager of Advanced Technology Center, Corporate R&D Headquarters,
In the coming 'super-smart' society, which is referred to as "Society 5.0" by the Japanese Government, technology development and R&D within companies must be able to create value. Figuratively speaking, value-creating development involves going up a river and creating a stream in a new direction. In order to go upstream, it is necessary to use the power of science to bring out the truth, and I believe the training and research experience in the PhD program will surely be of great help in this regard. I am convinced that researchers acquiring the fundamentals of multiple disciplines in the PhD program and adopting different areas of expertise in their specialties will play an active role in the coming super-smart society.

Naoki Takemori
General Manager,
Plant Innovation Center
Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT)
The research task you will undertake in a company may be affected by the external environment or changes in the market. For this reason, you may take charge of a research project outside your area of expertise, or your research theme may be subject to change. Even under such circumstances, you will still have to develop your career on your own. In this effort, it is essential to have the skills to find themes and their solutions, as well as the ability to explain the background and significance of your research themes. I hope you will keep this point in mind as you continue your research in the PhD program.

Cultivating Women Leaders and Promoting Diversity

The GTR implements a program for female students aimed at cultivating top female leaders. The GTR also provides diversity promotion seminars, including awareness-raising seminars, to focus on the "unconscious bias" of all students and teachers. Thus, we intend to bring about a society where both men and women can express their true strengths.

Providing Attractive Lectures to Develop the Capability to Identify Problems

To help understand the multidisciplinary problems that confront society and science and cultivate the ability to find solutions, the GTR provides serial lectures in an omnibus format that promote thinking about multidisciplinary problems, as well as a series lectures on industrial perspectives.
GTR students broaden their views by attending this lecture series in areas different from their specialties. The lectures are also open to undergraduate students.