About Our Faculty
Tohoku University was established in 1907 as the third Imperial University following the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. It was planned on the concept of a center of academic creation unlike the preceding universities, and has firmly maintained an academic tradition of emphasis on research until now. The open-door spirit to accept and work hard with people who wish to study, and the tradition of creative research to explore and elucidate unexplored academic areas rather than maturing/matured areas, have been Tohoku University's characteristics. It has now 10 undergraduate schools, 16 graduate schools, five research institutes, two hospitals, and libraries, as well as many shared facilities and education/research facilities, with a staff of nearly 5,000, including about 2,600 teachers, and more than 10,000 undergraduate students, about 6,500 graduate students, and about 1,000 internal students.
Among the organizations of Tohoku University as described above is the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Graduate School has a long history of pharmaceutical education. It was started as the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine of the Second High School under the old education system (the predecessor of the current School of Medicine) in 1890, and lasted until 1918 as the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the College of Medicine of Tohoku University. Then, after a hiatus of 40 years, it was re-established as the Pharmaceutical Institute of Tohoku University in 1957, and re-organized as the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In 1999 the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a graduate school was established. The Graduate School consists of three majors: Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bio-Pharmaceutical Science, and Life Science, providing undergraduate education and graduate school education continuously. It has a 2-year Master's program and a 3-year Ph.D. program. In1997 it opened the door of the Ph.D. program to working people with an aim to developing human resources in diverse areas.
The building of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences was constructed in the Aobayama area in 1969. The building is on a hill with refreshing air, endowed with green leaves and frequent blue skies, looking down the Hirose River, far over the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Zao Mountain Range to the west and the Ou Mountain Range including Mt. Izumigatake to the north. Its inside was remodeled in 1996-7, and the Applied Pharmacological Research building was completed in 2003. In that way facilities were provided for the areas of research added when the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences was reorganized as an independent major, and further emphasis was put on the graduate schools in 1999. There are also a Botanical Garden (an area of about 53,000 m2) for pharmacological herbs attached to the building, with comfortable landscapes. While the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences has gone through historical changes, the staff including teachers and students have overcome difficulties and further developed the School at every turn of time with a spirit of cooperation and a frontier spirit. Such spirits, together with the strict spirit of exploration of scientific truth in research, have been inherited by this School as characteristic academic traditions. (August 30, 2003)
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Educational goal for Education of Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has both the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (4-year program) and the Department of Pharmacy (6-year program). Together with the education/research at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is based on undergraduate education, the Faculty develops human resources that are able to engage in the research and development on the science of drug discovery aiming at elucidating life phenomena and creating new pharmaceutical products, and human resources that are able to contribute to the development of medicine as pharmaceutical experts.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
In the 4-year program, the ethics, culture and intellectual ability with which a person who works in medical service should be endowed are learned along with methods for experiments and analyses through practice and graduation research so that they have the basics as researchers and engineers in the field of drug discovery. The knowledge and ability that students acquire through the program will be polished if they proceed to the Graduate School providing a 2-year Master's program and a 3-year Ph.D. program. Then, they can be a prime mover in society as researchers and engineers in the field of drug discovery.
Department of Pharmacy
In the 6-year program, students acquire the basics of pharmacy and knowledge in clinical pharmacy, and learn the ethics, culture and intellectual ability with which a person who works in medical service should be endowed. They develop their researcher's mind, and acquire the practical skills and knowledge required for a pharmacist through practices in laboratories, hospitals and dispensing pharmacys. Then, they take the national examination for the license of pharmacist. The knowledge and ability that students have acquired through the program will not only help them be qualified as a pharmacist, but also lead them to taking an active role in the medical field as a pharmacist with sophisticated skills/knowledge with full of a good researcher's mind. They will also have the basics on which they can proceed to the Graduate School providing a 4-year Ph.D. program. Then, they can be researchers in the field of clinical pharmaceutical science.
To do pharmaceutical research, a wide range of academic ability is essential. The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tohoku University provides basic education on biology, organic chemistry and physical chemistry as three basics so that they will be able to "find and develop potential drugs." As its development, the Faculty provides education on the science of drug discovery and clinical pharmacy. The curriculums of Tohoku University consist of subjects common to the whole university through which students learn general basic culture and specialized subjects that are different according to the Faculties. The classes are allocated to semesters. The common subjects are completed at the end of the fourth semester in the second year. On the other hand, specialized subjects begin with the first semester and increase gradually as semesters proceed. The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences consists of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences with a 4-year program that is basically to develop pharmaceutical researchers and engineers for drug discovery, and the Department of Pharmacy with a 6-year program that is basically to develop pharmacists with sophisticated skills and knowledge. When students are admitted to this Faculty, they are not divided according to the departments. They learn the common basic subjects (biology, organic chemistry and physical chemistry) until the end of the fifth semester for both departments. Thus, the curriculums are so designed that students can fully acquire the basics of pharmacy. For one year including the second half of the second year and the first half of the third year (i.e., the fourth and fifth semesters), students are educated in basic pharmaceutical practices. They learn the theories that they have already been taught through experiments, and at the same time, acquire the basic skills for experimenting. After the end of the fifth semester, they are allocated to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (about 60 students) and the Department of Pharmacy (about 20 students) on the basis of their requests and academic results, and they begin to study according to the curriculums of their own courses from the sixth semester (the second half of the third year).
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
After entering the Department, students attend classes on advanced subjects to acquire a deeper knowledge of drug discovery in the sixth semester. For one year and a half including the sixth semester to graduation from the 4-year program, students are assigned to laboratories, with several of them to each, to do assigned research. In other words, each student is assigned a research subject. They probably enjoy this period of one year and a half as the most productive, with the pleasure and problems in tackling unknown challenges. They may take the admission examinations for the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in August of their fourth year. If they pass those examinations they are allowed to proceed to the Master's program (2 years) of the School where they will engage in a higher level of research. They may also work outside the university when graduating from the Department. If they finish the Master's program, they may work in companies in the area of research, development or production as a researcher/engineer for drug discovery. They may also further proceed to the Ph.D. program (3 years), where they will do advanced research. Then, they may take jobs at research/educational institutions as a researcher who is internationally accepted, where they can contribute to the maximum of their ability. If they take some subjects on clinical pharmaceutical sciences, and a practice course at a hospital or dispensing pharmacy, after finishing the Master's program, they are qualified to take the national examination for pharmacists.
Department of Pharmacy
After entering the Department of Pharmacy, students take advanced subjects on clinical pharmaceutical sciences, specialized pharmaceutical practices, and basic practices of clinical pharmaceutical sciences, to acquire the basics as a clinical service expert through the seventh and eighth semesters in their fourth year. They are required to take common examinations: CBT (Computer Based Test) for basic knowledge and OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) to evaluate their skills and behavior from the end of the fourth year and through the early period of the fifth year. They are also previously given preparatory education. Only students who have passed CBT and OSCE are allowed to proceed to the educational practice after that. They then practice at hospitals and dispensing pharmacies, where they acquire the skills and knowledge required for a pharmacist. For about one year from the end of the fifth year to graduation, they do research at laboratories that they are assigned to. Each student has a research subject that has not been elucidated, and researches it and raises the researcher's mind. Near the end of the sixth year, students attend a seminar to prepare for the national examination for pharmacists. If they successfully pass the examination and graduate from the Department, they may work in the medical field such as hospitals as pharmacists with a full researcher's mind. They may also proceed to the Ph.D. program of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences to become a dedicated researcher and research in the field of clinical pharmaceutical sciences at research/educational institutions.
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
The Educational idea of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is to develop human resources that can contribute to the welfare and development of human beings through drugs. To achieve this, the School provides graduate school education with the following purpose.
Goal for Graduate School Education
The goal for education of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science is to develop researchers/engineers in pharmacy who have acquired knowledge and skills in a wide pharmaceutical range and have the ability to produce original ideas and international competitiveness. Particularly, the first course in the Ph.D. program or Master's program (i.e., master's course) endows students with sophisticated knowledge about creation through proper use of drugs, and the ability to apply the knowledge based on the basic knowledge and skills that they acquired through undergraduate education. The second course of the Ph.D. program (i.e., doctorial course) develops their ability to do advanced research in the science of drug discovery and clinical pharmacy by themselves to become excellent researchers.
The Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacy Major) was established in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tohoku University in 1961. A Pharmaceutical Chemistry major was added in 1974, and a Molecular Life Pharmaceutics major in 1993, in order to have an educational/research system that was internationally competitive in the academic area. In 1999, Tohoku University substantially reorganized its graduate schools so that it would put great emphasis on education and research in those schools rather than the undergraduate faculties. The current Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences consists of three majors: Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bio-Pharmaceutical Science and Life Science, engaging in education and research in the cutting-edge field of pharmaceutical research.
On the basis of the University's traditional academic principle of creative research first, that is being wide open to society and developing unexplored academic areas, this Graduate School puts the greatest emphasis on developing human resources that are able to do future pharmaceutical research, responding to rapid developments of life and medical sciences, and everyday increasing pharmaceutical needs in society. It is also characteristic of this School in that it is located in an environment full of greenery with a panoramic view of Sendai, also known as the City of Trees. It has well-developed research facilities including a botanical garden for pharmaceutical herbs with the largest area in Japan to be proud of. The buildings for education and research have been remodeled. Accordingly, this Graduate School is in a good environment where the researchers/students can devote themselves to research work comfortably without disturbing stresses.
This Graduate School has set up an education system where students can acquire the basic knowledge required for doing pharmaceutical research and the ability to apply that knowledge to make effective use of it, aiming at developing researchers/engineers who are able to create original ideas and be internationally competitive in the academic field. In the first course (2 years) of the Ph.D. program or Master's Program (i.e., master's course), students are given knowledge in a wide range of areas from the creation of drugs through their proper use, and acquire a wide and deep knowledge of pharmacy as a total science of substances, life and medicine. They gain the ability to apply such knowledge, by participating in cutting-edge research in their respective specialized fields. In the second course (3 years) of the Ph.D. program (i.e., doctorial course), they take the lead in doing cutting-edge research, so that they can establish themselves as pharmaceutical researchers.
This Graduate School has produced many researchers who have been honored with esteemed awards such as the Japan Academy Prize, the Medal with Purple Ribbon and the Asahi Prize, thus contributing to the development of pharmaceutical sciences in Japan and in the world. This tradition continues now, and is reinforced. The amount of money per teacher provided for education and research of this School is conspicuously high in Tohoku University, which simply reflects the briskness of its research activities. In 1999 when the graduate schools were reorganized and improved, this School set up a flexible research organization able to swiftly respond to changes in the trend of research, so it was made more effective in conducting research. The Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is endowed with a good environment for doing very original research, yielding a lot of fruits of research everyday.