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Home  > About TMDU  > Brief Introduction

Brief Introduction

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)

1. General

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) is the only comprehensive medical university in Japan that has both undergraduate and graduate programs in medicine and dentistry. The undergraduate programs are offered through the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry, and prepare students to be medical and dental professionals. Our graduate programs in Medical and Dental Sciences and Health Care Sciences produce leaders who go into research (basic research and clinical-based research), education or a combination of such work. Many professors teach and conduct cutting edge research in their respective Faculty or at one of our specialized research institutes, such as the Medical Research Institute or the Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering.

2. Education

Today, approximately 3,000 students are pursuing medical, dental, and life science degrees at TMDU, with a nearly equal number of students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduates begin their career at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to ensure a well-rounded education. After moving on to the Faculty of Medicine or Faculty of Dentistry, students concentrate on a curriculum that is increasingly integrated between medical and dental sciences and utilizes an inter-professional educational approach, just as graduate students at TMDU have traditionally enjoyed.

In the effort to inspire an attitude of intellectual curiosity in its undergraduates, TMDU sends many students to different institutions, such as Imperial College London, King’s College London Dental Institute, and TMDU’s international outreach centers in Ghana, Chile, and Thailand. In addition, TMDU dispatches selected faculty members to Harvard Medical School for the purpose of spurring innovation in curriculum development. In all, TMDU offers over 200 life science degree programs at its two graduate schools. In addition, thousands of patients are treated daily at the attached university hospitals of medicine and dentistry, institutions that further facilitate the school’s educational efforts, basic and clinical research activities, and community service.

3. Research

Research and Industry-University Alliance Organization has 9 centers to promote specialized research areas and also support and manage diverse research activities in TMDU from various angles. Among them, Bioresource Research Center has advanced facilities to collect and maintain high-quality data and tissue samples from patients at TMDU hospitals with the aim of discovering new causes for disease and developing personalized medicine. Research Center for Industry Alliances literally promotes collaboration between industry and TMDU research. In particular, Medical Innovation Promotion Center supports processes to make the novel knowledge and technology developed at TMDU translated into practical clinical use.

One example of this collaboration is a project with Dai Nippon Printing (DNP). In 2012, TMDU and DNP succeeded in the development of 3D Eyeball Imaging, a technology that contributes to the rapid and safe diagnosis of pathologic myopia by using an MRI scanner to create an image of a patient’s eyeball. In 2016, TMDU and DNP developed new regenerative medicine technology applying printing and extracellular matrices.

TMDU is also working with Sony Corporation, and this collaboration has brought to market a head-mounted 3D endoscope, a device that enables safe and minimally invasive surgery. In 2015, TMDU launched a robotics venture company and released an endoscope-holding robot based on novel and effective technologies. In these partnerships and all of its activities, TMDU has one ultimate goal: to serve the needs of patients and their families, in Japan and around the world, by working to fulfill its mission statement of “Cultivating Professionals with Knowledge and Humanity”

4. International Collaboration

In 2012 and 2014, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) awarded TMDU very substantial grants to help its graduates gain an internationalized perspective through innovative and intensive education in English, critical thinking and global issues. These initiatives, the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development and Super Global University Project, will be fundamental in improving Japan’s global competitiveness and enhancing ties between nations. TMDU also received funding for another large-scale project to foster direct international outreach. The Re-Inventing Japan Project — Support for the Formation of Collaborative Programs with ASEAN Universities — will promote student exchange between TMDU and ASEAN universities through the harmonization of academic curricula, the mutual recognition of credits, the strategic recruitment of international students and the deepening of TMDU’s collaborations with its partner universities in Southeast Asia.

The university’s three overseas research/education centers are also central to its educational and research goals. The Ghana–TMDU Research Center at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana concentrates on the research of emerging and re-emerging tropical diseases, including malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases. The Latin American Collaborative Research Center for Colorectal Cancer in Chile builds on the foundation laid by TMDU, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and institutions in South America to detect and treat colon cancer at the earliest stage possible. The third center, the Chulalongkorn University–TMDU Research and Education Collaboration Center in Thailand, facilitates a great deal of cooperation between the two schools, especially in the dental field. Based on activities in these overseas research/education centers, in 2015, TMDU established two joint degree programs: “University of Chile and TMDU Joint Degree Doctoral Program in Medical Sciences with mention of a medical specialty” and “Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Chulalongkorn University International Joint Degree Doctoral Program in Dental Sciences – Doctor of Philosophy Program in Orthodontics”

TMDU currently has approximately 280 international students, who are predominantly enrolled in the graduate school. In fact, despite its relatively small size, TMDU has the largest number of international students in the medical and dental fields of any national/public university in Japan. TMDU is also recruiting outstanding young scientists from around the world for assistant professorship positions focused on medical science research through its tenure track initiative.