Research Promotion for Innovative Medicine

Objective

Okayama University has a long history in the medical field. We do not confine ourselves to conventional approaches, but constantly seek to holistically promote research projects in new fields to improve human well-being and health. Research Promotion and Collaboration Office for Medicine and Dentistry (RPCO-MD) is established 2004 and located 3rd floor of Medical Science Building at Shikata Campus (School of Medicine and Dentistry). Members of our office are Director, Vice director, Coordinators and Secretary.



Activity

The Research Promotion Office for Innovative Medicine aims to promote innovative studies and launch development centers in the medical and dental schools, and to commercialize and industrialize seed ventures in pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and welfare equipment, serving as the bridge organization and helping propel new undertakings.
The Office also handles matters that relate to joint research efforts between the Health Science Campus (medical and dental schools) and the Faculty of Natural Science (science and technology), centers its activities on "helping create new medical care" and promotes and facilitates reinvigoration of industry-academia-government partnership in the medical and welfare fields, working to develop drugs and medicines as well as innovative medical equipment, medical materials and welfare equipment.
With a view toward promoting such activities, we are joining forces with other functions within the Organization for Research Promotion & Collaboration, the Research Exchange Center, the Research Promotion Department of the University Hospital, the Center for Innovative Clinical Medicine and the University Research Administrator (URA) of the Strategic Office for Education and Research, while engaging in a wide range of undertakings.

Collaboration with outside the university

"Medical Techno Okayama," an NPO, was jointly established and is jointly operated by Okayama Prefecture, Kawasaki Medical School and Okayama University. Working together with the coordinator of Medical Techno Okayama, the Research Promotion Office for Innovative Medicine collects and disseminates information on needs and seeds that exist on the campuses. The Office maintains close relationships with the Department of industry and labor Okayama prefectural government and the Okayama prefecture Industrial Promotion Foundation, and works steadily to match businesses centering on medical and welfare equipment manufacturers in Okayama Prefecture.
Going forward, building on locally-oriented activities, we plan to set our sights on partnering with other universities and companies both in Japan and abroad, increase staff, and expand our scope to global activities.


Presentation of clinical needs from nursery team in the exhibition "Mid-West Japan Medical Innovation 2016"

"Medical Salon" talking over tea after work under the auspices of "Medical Techno Okayama"


Main Projects

Okayama Medical Innovation Center (OMIC) is ideally located at the science campus of Okayama University, to best integrate advanced medical research programs and technologies of manufacturing companies in Okayama prefecture with molecular imaging technologies. This collaboration will result in medical innovation in the near future with the aim of creating medical industries and industrial clusters. OMIC coordination with industry-academia-government in Okayama prefecture is already eminently positioned and regarded as "medical".



Direct targeting and induction of immunological attacks on cancer cells are two widely used approaches for the treatment of cancer. But Professor Hiromi Kumon and colleagues at Okayama University have developed a third and potentially more effective approach based on Reduced Expression in Immortalized Cells (REIC)- a tumor suppressor gene discovered at Okayama University. "In 2005 researchers at the Okayama University Medical School forced its expression using adenoviral vector (Ad-REIC) and discovered it caused selective death (apoptosis) of prostate cancer cells without damaging normal cells," explains Kumon. "Our approach is a combination of targeting and immunology for the treatment of cancer. Some people have referred to this as a 'magic bullet'. We are working with international partners to develop an Ad-REIC/DKK3 vaccine to treat various intractable solid tumors."



Eye doctor Dr. Toshihiko Matsuo and polymer science engineer Dr. Tetsuya Uchida have been developing a new type of retinal prosthesis that is based on a photoelectric dye. The photoelectric dye is an organic molecule that absorbs light and converts light energy into electric potentials. The dye molecules are coupled to the surface of a film made of polyethylene. The polyethylene film (or polymer) is a biologically safe and stable material which is used, for example, as a component of artificial joints. The photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film, called Okayama University-type retinal prosthesis or OURePTM, can be implanted beneath the retina as a substitute for photoreceptor cells.



Aimed at reducing radiation exposure of surgeon from CT X-ray computed tomography scanner, built the concept of robot for CT-guided interventional radiology. From 2012, project members in Okayama University Hospital and Okayama University have studied robotics for developing tele-operation control system to puncture a needle into body, which is required task in interventional radiology.



Promotion of Middle and Small Projects in Medical, Dental, Nursery, and Welfare Field

Symposium and Exhibition in "Shikata" Campus; "Medical Innovation"

This event introduces advanced research seeds and needs in medical, dental and nursery fields of Okayama University, and develops high-tech/low-tech equipment by promoting the industry-university mutual cooperation. At this event, medical equipment manufacturer exhibits products and presents topics. Public lecture, university hospital tour (operation room, interventional radiology center, simulation center, bio bank center), and panel discussion are carried in free advice bureau.


Panel discussion at "Medical Innovation 2016"

Exhabition corner at "Medical Innovation 2016"


Operation Room Tour for Learning

Faculty members of Engineering who are interested in medical field can attend the "Operation Room Tour for Learning" held at Okayama University Hospital. They can vividly observe the actual operations carried in the operation room. After visiting rooms, the participants have discussion introducing their technologies and knowledge. This is the origin of collaboration between medicine and engineering.