京都大学放射線生物研究センター

About RBC (Radiation Biology Center)

The Radiation Biology Center was founded in 1976 in response to the recommendation to the government by the Science Council of Japan in which the Council noted the research on the effects of radiation should be promoted. In this recommendation, the establishment of an institute for basic research in radiation biology was urged. In 1970, Kyoto University was asked to be the host institution for the new research institute, and the University Council voted in favor of the plan.

The initial plan for the institute included 13 laboratories with a staff of over 60 scientists for basic research. While the original plan had to be reduced to 3 permanent and 2 visiting laboratories, the proposal was finally approved by the government and the Radiation Biology Center was established in May 1976. Dr. Tsutomu Sugahara, Professor of the Department of Experimental Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine was elected as the first Director of the Center. Dr. Sugahara had been chairman of the organizing committee for the proposal and was one of the members of the committee that had first urged the establishment of the Center. The successive directors thereafter have been: Dr. Kanji Torizuka from April 1980 to March 1986, Dr. Hiraku Takabe from April 1986 to March 1988, Dr. Shigefumi Okada from April 1988 to March 1989, Dr. Hiraku Takebe from April 1989 to March 1993, Dr. Masao S. Sasaki from April 1993 to March 1997, Dr. Mituo Ikenaga from April 1997 to March 1999, and Dr. Ohtsura Niwa from April 1999 to March 2003. Dr. Kenshi Komatsu from April 2003 to March 2009. Dr. Tomohiro Matsumoto has been the Director since April 2003.

The first laboratory to be established was the Department of Radiation System Biology. The second laboratory, the Department of Nucleic Acid Repair Studies, was established by visiting positions in 1977. Two additional permanent laboratories, the Department of Mutagenesis and the Department of Late Effect Studies were opened in 1978 and 1983, respectively. The second visiting laboratory, the Department of Radiomimetic Chemical Studies was added in 1987. The Department of Genomic Dynamics Studies was established in 2001. Radiation biology is a multi-disciplinary science that covers physics, chemistry, medicine and widespread branches of biology.

The Center should continue to function as a nucleus of radiation research of such multi-disciplinary nature by mediating scientific correspondence among radiation biologists of different research areas. In 1984, the laboratory building with a floor space of approximately 1,500 m2 was built on the medical campus, and further extended to 2,400 m2 in 1993.

Research at RBC