Director General, Cancer Research Institute,
Kanazawa University

Atsushi Hirao

Atsushi Hirao, M.D., Ph.D.
Director General, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University

 The Kanazawa University Cancer Research Institute (KU-CRI) bears the distinction of being the only institute solely focused on cancer research amongst the Research Institutes and Centers of Japan National Universities. Since its establishment in 1967, KU-CRI has made numerous groundbreaking contributions to the fields of basic and clinical cancer research. At present, we are focused on deepening our understanding of cancer stem cell and the role of the tumor microenvironment, for the discovery of novel molecular therapeutic targets. To accomplish these, the Institute aspires to generate state-of-the-art cancer models by innovating on cutting-edge technologies, such as genetically engineered mouse, patient-derived xenograft and molecular imaging. Our consuming passion is to usher in a new era of cancer treatment in which malignant diseases are completely curative. Our comprehensive approach is organized into three distinct research programs: Cancer and Stem Cell, Cancer Microenvironment, Cancer Molecular Target Exploration, to be complemented by the Innovative Cancer Model Research Center.

 In 2010, KU-CRI was commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a Joint Usage/Research Center on “Metastasis and Drug Resistance”. This initiative brings together scientists from diverse fields including natural science, engineering, and clinical therapeutics in forming a cross-discipline alliance against cancer metastasis and drug resistance. With this mandate from the government of Japan, KU-CRI members endeavor to broaden our collaboration nationally and internationally in our battle against cancer.

 As the Director General of KU-CRI, I am excited by the opportunities presented by the recent breakthroughs in technologies, research tools, therapeutics, medical informatics and our national healthcare infrastructures. As an Institute, we are embarked on a journey into scientific discovery and collaborative research, with a keen global focus. We warmly invite you to journey with us.