Message from the Director

Director, Institute for Glyco-core Research (iGCORE)

Clarification of essence of glycans, hidden in their diverse nature, will provide novel knowledge for human beings

Throughout human history, humanity has confronted age-old questions such as "What is life?" and "What does it mean to be alive?" Other questions such as "Why do people get sick?" and "How can we cure diseases?" also share a common thread. I believe that intellectual curiosity, respect for nature, and love for other forms of life are the driving forces behind the development of life sciences.

The mission of our institute is to promote research advancements on glycans, which play important roles in biological activities. Various types of glycans exist in nature, embedded in almost all types of cell surfaces in our bodies and play active roles in the boundary between cells and the outside world. Elucidating the roles of glycans, which differ from those of nucleic acids and proteins involved in several biological processes, will open up new horizons in life sciences. Amazingly, glycans are highly adaptable to variable external environments. Our pioneering research on glycans has led the world in clarifying the importance of glycans in life, but we are still far from complete understanding the phenomenon of biological life through the complexities found in glycans. As it becomes increasingly clear that the world of glycans is profound and complex, scientists are learning more about the importance of characterizing and analyzing the mysterious world of glycans across disciplines. With the establishment of the Tokai National Higher Education and Research System, THERS, we have gathered high-caliber researchers who can make it happen. The dual currents, involving cutting-edge research and integrating knowledge across disciplines, are a key thrust for the development of glycan research, like a great river flowing into the ocean. Our focus on exploring the function and potential of glycans at the molecular, cellular, and individual levels will help uncover the essence of glycans in diversity and complexities and build a collective pool of knowledge that will contribute to human well-being.

iGCORE Leaflet

Click here to download a leaflet of iGCORE (PDF file).