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Tsuruoka Town Campus of Keio: Driving Original and Innovative Research Toward a Brighter Future

In 2001, Professor Masaru Tomita was entrusted by then-Keio President Yasuhiko Torii to open the Institute for Advanced Biosciences with the objective of making it “a research center that will draw the world’s attention.” That was the beginning of the Tsuruoka Town Campus of Keio (TTCK) situated 340 km north of Tokyo in the idyllic rural seaside town of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture.

Now in its 15th year, TTCK has proven to be a resounding success. Already, four bio-ventures have emerged from research at the Institute of Advanced Biosciences (IAB), namely Human Metabolome Technologies Inc. (HMT), Spiber Inc., Saliva Tech co., LTD, and MetaGen Inc. Furthermore, in 2014, the 10th Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society was held in Tsuruoka, for which over 550 participants from 36 countries converged on the city. With the introduction of various initiatives such as bio camps for Keio students and recruitment of talented local high school students to give them an opportunity to assist in research, as well as the venture companies being based close to the TTCK Biolab, TTCK is transforming Tsuruoka into a “Bio-town” and promises to keep revitalizing the city for generations to come.

Of course, none of this would be possible without innovative and groundbreaking research, which the IAB continually produces. In May 2015, an article from the IAB that Prof. Tomita collaborated on was published in Scientific Reports. Titled “Method of preparing an equimolar DNA mixture for one-step DNA assembly of over 50 fragments,” it established a new method for one-step DNA assembly of unprecedentedly large numbers of fragments. The entire article can be accessed from Nature.com at the following link:

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