Kyushu University


Founded in 1911 as one of Japan’s seven Imperial Universities, Kyushu University has established itself as a leader in education and research not just in Japan, but also throughout Asia. It has a student population of 18,659, of which about 11% are international students, and it has 2,407 full-time faculty members. Kyushu University has a remarkable research output, and was ranked 86th among world universities in terms of Nature Index’s WFC metric in 2017.

Innovative approach to tackling global problems

The university is adopting a multidisciplinary approach to addressing energy challenges. As one example, it is fusing engineering with applied maths, economics and big data to open new paths for renewable energy and the integration of renewables with the power grid.

Kyushu University has attracted global attention since establishing the largest, best-funded hydrogen-related research facility in the world. Building on that lab’s success, the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) was initiated to advance low-carbon technology, improve energy efficiency and develop CO2 mitigation schemes in collaboration with the University of Illinois and other partner universities in the US and Europe.

Establishing a platform for comprehensive energy research

To expand I2CNER’s global leadership, the Kyushu University Platform of Inter/Transdisciplinary Energy Research, or Q-PIT, was founded in October 2016. It brings together green-energy engineers with abstract mathematicians, political scientists and economists — to better assess the social impact of new technology breakthroughs. Initial projects under the Q-PIT strategy include capturing CO2 emissions from coal gasification, studying water-splitting catalysts atom by atom to learn their secrets, and validating the techno-economic impacts of switchgrass biofuels. Technology transfer to companies in the Fukuoka area is helping to kick-start a new energy technology hub — a key step in returning research results back to society.

Wide range of courses in both Japanese and English

Kyushu University’s strengths lie in its particularly active and innovative science programmes. With the aim of educating new generations of global leaders, Kyushu University offers many graduate programmes in English that allow students that have no knowledge of Japanese to obtain degrees in a wide range of subjects.

Kyushu University retains sole responsibility for content. © 2017 Kyushu University.

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Kyushu University published between 1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the WFC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

265 88.77 85.57

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Life Sciences 63 27.72 27.72
Chemistry 103 44.97 44.97
Physical Sciences 119 25.34 22.14
Earth & Environmental Sciences 8 2.46 2.46

Highlight of the month

Injured spinal cords may not be scarred for life

©Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/OJO+/Getty

©Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/OJO+/Getty

Preventing scar formation after spinal cord injuries could help a damaged nervous system repair itself.

Spinal cord injuries can severely, if not permanently, impair movement and the senses by damaging the central nervous system. After injury, astrocytes, the most abundant cell in the nervous system, set out to treat the damaged area but eventually become ‘reactive’ and form scars, which prevent nerve fibres regenerating.

Researchers from Kyushu University transplanted reactive astrocytes from injured spinal tissue into undamaged spinal tissue, whereupon the astrocytes returned to their non-reactive state, suggesting that their activity depends on the environment. The team noticed that, in mice with spinal cord injuries, type I collagen — a key protein in tissue healing — in the spinal cord was assisting scar formation. Blocking collagen-astrocyte interactions prevented scar formation and allowed nerve fibres to regrow.

This understanding of how astrocytes prevent damaged nerve fibres regrowing could lead to new therapies that could help spinal injury patients regain movement.

Supported content

  1. Nature Medicine 23, 818-828 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nm.4354

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Kyushu University

More research highlights from Kyushu University

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 51.93% Domestic
  • 48.07% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the weighted fractional count (WFC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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