Objectives, Outline


The Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST-BS) was founded with the aim of training students, under the unifying theme of molecular and cellular biology, in diverse disciplines of modern biology. NAIST-BS was selected to study “Molecular networks for cellular activities” in the 21st Century COE Program. In this new Global COE Program, we are initiating a new project entitled “Frontier biosciences: strategies for survival and adaptation in a changing global environment” to study the relationships between organisms and environments, to improve human life, and to advance science in the future.

The goals of our Global COE program are:

  1. To promote scientific activities which will contribute to understanding survival and adaptation strategies of organisms in a changing global environment;
  2. To train young scientists who will make internationally-recognized achievements in the future; and
  3. To contribute to society's quest for solutions to global food and environmental problems.


Research activities

We have established three research groups, each of which will study a different subject within the Global COE program.

  1. Strategies of organisms for survival in a changing global environment at the cellular level: Analyze cellular responses to changing environments such as abiotic and biotic stresses. Understand molecular networks and cross-talk within cells exposed to various stresses.
  2. Adaptation of organisms to a changing global environment at the organism level: Study responses to various environmental signals at the tissue or organ level.
  3. Growth and development of organisms as a strategy for survival and adaptation in a changing global environment: Understand how growth and development of organisms are regulated by their environment, and understand the strategies used by various organisms to adapt to changing environments.

Graduate training

We are providing an “International bio-seminar” course at NAIST, given by outstanding overseas scientists, and a course on technical English communication at UC Davis. We will provide financial support for graduate students by establishing COE-TA and COE-RA systems.

Supporting young scientists

We will hire young scientists from overseas and Japan as COE research fellows who will work as independent researchers. We will send selected assistant professors from NAIST-BS to overseas laboratories to encourage them to broaden their research.

International network for graduate training and research

To stimulate international activities in aspects of the COE program, we have established strong interactions with UCD-BS and CAS-IGDB involving various activities such as student exchanges, student seminars, and collaborative research.