Realization of a sustainable society founded on mental, physical, and environmental health
At the Global Bioconvergence Center of Innovation,
our vision is to sustainably promote the health of the mind, body, and natural environment
in order to achieve “One Health” on a global scale (“One World, One Health”).
“Healthy Mind”, “Healthy Body”, and “Healthy Environment”
We focus on the interrelationship of these three themes and how to sustainably protect each of them for the next twenty years.
Furthermore, in order to promote each of these areas,
we present new strategies (deep tech solutions) for problem solving and value creation using an advanced
scientific and interdisciplinary approach centering on bioconvergence in collaboration with diverse,
global partners. In doing so,
we aim to maximize the well-being of all humans and international society. To realize our center’s vision,
we will utilize the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology’s (OIST) unique strengths—innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration,
and international partnership—to their fullest extent.
Mental health is a crucial prerequisite for an active and personally fulfilling life. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, mental health involves numerous factors beyond personal temperament and talents, such as quality of life, and the mind is considered to have a particularly close interrelationship with the body. To preserve and promote mental health, we will use scientific investigation and social implementation methods, for example, research and development of machine learning algorithms, in order to identify the mechanisms of mental illness such as changes in brain dynamics in cases of depression and stress.
Physical health, much like mental health, is an important prerequisite to everyday life. In addition to daily habits and healthy behaviors, early detection and prevention of disease are indispensable to maintaining physical health, particularly amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we expect to see advances in and an integrated approach to the basic science and technology of disease detection and prevention. To preserve and promote physical health, we will foster the development of products and services related to well-being, drug discovery, and diagnosis, for example, by elucidating the cause of aging in living cells, inhibiting aging in the human body, and applying AI robot technology and other methods to multiomics and microbiome analysis.
Environmental health is closely related to the health of the human mind and body. Global warming, desertification, deforestation, ecological damage, air pollution, ocean pollution—humanity is witnessing a myriad of environmental issues on a global scale. To preserve and promote environmental health, we will create a virtuous ecosystem cycle based on environmental preservation and utilization through the development of new tourism resources and services, for example, diversity mapping and development of new monitoring systems utilizing AI technology and use of environmental and ecological resources for tourism activities and other purposes.
Professor of the Genomics & Gene Regulation Unit and Dean of Research at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST). Formerly Winton Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute (UK), Professor at the University College of London, and Group Leader at EMBL-European Bioinformatics institute.
The Five Research & Development Projects for Our Targets
R&D Project #1
Development of next-generation monitoring systems for the preservation and promotion of mental health