Masanobu Oshima, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Director General, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University
In 1967m Kanazawa University Cancer Research Institute was founded as the only Cancer Research Institute of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In 1997, our organization was rearranged and at the same time Center for the Development of Molecular-targeted Drugs was established. Since its establishment, our institute produced epoch-making achievements in basic cancer research field, such as the discovery of proteinase MT1-MMP, elucidation of function of chemokines and apoptosis.
In 2006, Cancer Research Institute was reorganized and 2 centers were newly established, "Cancer and Stem Cell Research Center" and "Molecular and Cellular Targeting Translational Oncology Center", which aim discovery of the role of cancer stem cells in drug resistance and development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategy, respectively. We then discovered the molecular mechanism for maintenance of leukemia stem cells. In 2010, our Research Institute has been further reorganized to establish 4 programs to identify mechanisms of metastasis, relapse, and drug resistance. They are "Cancer and Stem Cell Research Program", "Cancer Microenvironment Research Program", "Cancer Molecular Target Exploration Program", and "Cancer Therapeutics Development Program". Currently, Cancer stem cell biology, molecular mechanisms of drug resistance, and chronic inflammation and cancer are research fields that we are leading in the cancer research field.
In July 2010, our institute was authorized by the MEXT as the Joint Usage/Research Center on Metastasis and Drug Resistance, and started the Joint Usage/Research Center Program. In Cancer Research Institute, researchers from a variety of fields including natural science, engineering, and clinical medicine have assembled to establish a cutting-edge research locus, to prevail over metastasis and drug resistance. With the authorization as the Joint Usage/Research Center, all members in the Institute are endeavoring to widen collaboration with researchers in a wide variety of fields, to establish an international center of excellence on metastasis and drug resistance and to eventually promote research for conquering these conditions.