The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo



Hello. Welcome to the website of the University of Tokyo Institute of Medical Science, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Division of Vaccine Science. The Division of Vaccine Science is a new laboratory opened in 2019 in the General Research Building on the Shirokanedai Campus of the University of Tokyo. This laboratory has approximately 10 members of all ages, comprising both men and women, with the motto “vaccine as a science”; we are working every day aiming to achieve an environment where we can uncover a wide range of immunity mechanisms and vaccines, from basic research in immunology to research on the development of actual vaccines and immunotherapy. Based on past research at the US FDA, experience in clinical trial examinations for vaccines, research at Osaka University, and the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, among others, as well as the results of educational activities, our laboratory is consistently studying how nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) derived from pathogens and hosts are recognized by the immune system and cause an immune response in immune-related diseases including infectious diseases, cancer, allergies, and other intractable diseases. Moreover, we study the physiological significance of these interactions. Taking full advantage of these findings, we are developing vaccines, adjuvants, and alternative immunotherapies that utilize nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA and their by-products. Based on these research results, we aim to realize “bench to clinic to bench” research by making the best use of our own clinical experience and clinical trial examination experience. On this website, we will strive to provide useful information to graduate students, researchers, doctors, people involved in vaccine administration, pharmaceutical companies, and other related parties. We are disseminating information on topics including the following: “what is a vaccine for the general public? And what is an adjuvant?”. Please make use of different information on the HP. We are always accepting comments and questions, and we look forward to hearing from you. Until the beginning of 2020, vaccine development research was never talked about in conversations on the street. However, recently (Autumn 2020), there have been few days when the COVID-19 pandemic has not been covered in the media since its emergence. There is a lot of information about vaccines, and we do not always know what is true or false. It pains us that even this HP is not able to convey the latest information correctly; however, if there is anything I can say from my experience in vaccine-related research, examination administration, and vaccine administration, among other fields, it would perhaps be as follows: “The most effective vaccine is ‘correct information’ and ‘being correctly scared'”. On top of that, the most important aspect for me as a person involved in vaccine development research is the following:
“The most effective vaccine is ‘correct information’ and ‘being correctly scared’.”

On top of that, the most important aspect for me as a person involved in vaccine development research is the following:
“Walk, don’t run, and conduct fundamental research”.

Anyone, including students, companies, and medical professionals, who is interested in our laboratory, should feel free to provide your opinions and questions. In the future, we will continue to cherish the “luck” and “relationship” that we have cultivated in the medical, research, and educational fields, and with the resolve from this “once-in-a-lifetime encounter”, and we will continue to elucidate the immune mechanism underlying the effects of vaccines and adjuvants and to continue developmental research based on the findings, and thus, we look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.

Division of Vaccine Science, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo
Professor, Ken J. Ishii

Would you support the vaccine design project?