The Japan Academy

About the Cover

Vol. 82 No. 6 (2006)

Vol. 82 No. 6 (2006)

RIKEN CDB Conducting basic research into developmental biology and translational research

  The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) was launched in Kobe in 2000 under the auspices of the Japanese government's Millennium Project research funding initiative. Intended to act as the national center for basic developmental research involving many fields such as cell differentiation, organogenesis, and morphogenesis, the Center combines these activities with translational research focusing on the medical application of stem cells. In placing these different research fields under one roof the Center aims to be a focal point for new developmental biology research. Through its active recruitment of foreign researchers the CDB is at the heart of efforts to increase internationalization in Japanese science. This is in addition to providing a working environment that encourages free thinking and is conducive for younger researchers to carry out creative research. As one of the core facilities in the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project the CDB works in close cooperation with neighboring clinical and biomedical venture incubation facilities. Research into development and differentiation at the CDB takes place on many different levels, from the seemingly simple roundworm to human embryonic stem cells. The center picture shows the CDB's research buildings together with its animal facility; the upper-most image shows GABA neurons induced from mouse ES cells; the image on the right shows an early chick embryo: one of the key model organisms used in developmental biology.

Photo and caption by RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology.