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What is the Medical Data Science Project?

This is Japan's first project aiming to create a world-class research center for medical data science of epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, genomic statistics, and medical informatics.
This research project is expected to introduce to the world the clinical evidence based on Japan's health care and clinical conditions, such as the universal health coverage, aging society, and the high introduction of advanced testing equipment to clinical practice.
In addition, this project focuses on human resource development with knowledge and skills in the multiple fields of clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, genome statistics, and medical informatics.

Project goals

We have the following goals:

  1. Formation of a world-class research center for medical data science.
  2. Establishment of international joint laboratories with overseas advanced clinical research universities and institutes.
  3. Promotion of joint research and commissioned research with enterprise companies and local governments.
  4. Developing human resources who possess high knowledge and skills in the multiple fields of clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, genome statistics and medical informatics.
  5. Promotion of reverse translational research that provides timely feedback on issues and questions obtained from clinical research.
  6. Providing support to produce original research articles qualified for publication in high quality medical journals.

Gap of clinical research between Japan and other countries

The development of clinical medical research has been one of the important scientific issues in Japan for many years. However, the structure of health care system in Japan needs to be reconstructed along with the drastic change in social structure by being a super-aged society. In addition with the explosive development of information science, the utilization of new resources such as the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and utilization of big and real world data are also required in clinical medical research.
However, the current level of clinical medical research in Japan is far behind the world's top level, and the current situation has not been able to sufficiently respond to urgent health issues (※ Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1

In particular, it is not easy to obtain talented human resources in the medical data science field who can combine advanced knowledge and skills, particularly for long-term observational studies that can cope with changes in the social structure to the same level as in advanced countries.

Narrowing the gap in clinical medical research compared to the world top-class standard; Launch of Medical Data Science Project

The medical data science project was launched in 2019 with the aim of meeting these challenges in clinical medical research. We will achieve the timely application of data science by sharing human resources, knowledge and experiences specialized in medical data science such as clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, genome statistics and medical informatics. We also promote the cooperation and collaboration with universities, companies and local governments to conduct efficient and high-quality medical research by establishing a comprehensive framework from the data use to the statistical analysis and the policy proposal. In addition, we aim for a world-class clinical research originating in Japan that makes the full use of advantages and features of Japan's health and medical care, such as universal health coverage, long-term care system for elderly and the spread use of new biomarkers and advanced medical testing equipment. (※ Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2

Application to reverse translational research and achieving world top-class international joint laboratories

Several postmarking side effects of approved drugs and types of clinical interventions can appear, for the first time, after the verification of medical therapies in the real world and examining its long-term effects. The goal of the medical data science project is to create a comprehensive and organizational base across the specialization fields, and to promote translational research from basic research to clinical research and also the feedback from clinical research to basic research with the hope that the research seed will develop sprouts and new basic research, namely reverse translational research. The advancement of long-term, comprehensive clinical researches is expected to become an unparalleled research center for medical data science not only in Japan but also worldwide. We set up international joint laboratories with overseas universities and research institutes to conduct world-class clinical research and cutting-edged research seminars in anticipation of conducting international joint research and mutually accepting researchers. These missions are expected to contribute to the promotion of the clinical medical research in Japan, promotion of disease prevention, and optimization of medical care, as well as the application of clinical research results. (※ Figure 3)

Figure 3

Figure 3

List of joint research laboratories

The medical data science project holds joint research and invitation seminars with the following domestic and overseas research institutes in order to achieve world-class clinical medical research. (In random order)

  • University College of London (The United Kingdom)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (The United Kindom)
  • University of Gottingen Medical Centre(Germany)
  • Peking university (China republic)
  • Wethington University (The Unite States)
  • Duke University (The Unite States)
  • University of Pittsburgh (The Unite States)
  • University Medical Centre Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • Singapore National University Heart Center (Singapore)
  • Minia University (Egypt)
  • Osaka Univesity hostpital (Japan)
  • Osaka Univesity graduate school of medicine Dept. of clinical medicine (Japan)
  • Kobe state hospital (Japan)
  • Nathional cerebral and cardiovasulcar centor (Japan)
  • Osaka prevention center for cancer and cardiovasluar disease (Japan)



2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka, 565-0871 Japan.

Department of Social Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Unit of Advanced clinical epidemiology

Tel:+81-6-6879-3911 Fax:+81-6-6879-3919


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