Okayama University


Okayama University’s nearly 150-year-old history can be traced back to the Okayama-Han Medical Training School, which was founded in 1870. Officially incorporated as a university in 1949, Okayama has evolved over the years but remains a centre for the research and practice of medicine. In recent times, this has been supplemented by a focus on humanities, science, agriculture, engineering, economics and law. In 2004, it became a national university corporation and has received several major titles from the Japanese government including being designated a Research University and Top Global University.

Researchers at Okayama University are conducting innovative research in fields as diverse as plant science and planetary science; they pursue the former at the Institute of Plant Science and Resources (IPSR) and the latter at the Institute for Planetary Materials (IPM). With the establishment of the Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (RIIS) in 2016, Okayama University is aligning its research strengths to lead the way in new and emerging fields.

Tackling global problems through education and research

As one of the leading universities in Japan, the university aims to create and establish a new paradigm for the sustainable development of the world. In particular, it is confronting global problems such as environmental problems, energy issues, food supply, economics, health, security and education. The university offers a wide range of academic fields, which form the basis of its integrated graduate schools. This both allows the university to conduct the most advanced and up-to-date research and provides for an enriching educational experience.

Pleasant environment for studying and researching

Okayama University has eleven faculties spread over two main campuses, which are centrally located in Okayama-city. The Tsushima Campus occupies a huge area of downtown Okayama and houses sports facilities, administration and teaching buildings and lots of green spaces as well as the dormitory buildings for international students and the campus International House. Although in the middle of a busy city, the campus is peaceful and quiet and is only a couple of kilometres from the nearest rail station, with Osaka only an hour away by bullet train and Tokyo only three.

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

1 April 2016 - 31 March 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Okayama University published between 1 April 2016 - 31 March 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.

123 23.37 22.69

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Physical Sciences 78 4.42 3.75
Chemistry 20 10.06 10.06
Life Sciences 16 5.51 5.51
Earth & Environmental Sciences 10 3.69 3.69

Highlight of the month

Seeing the light reaction

© Yasuhide Fumoto/Digital Vision/Getty

© Yasuhide Fumoto/Digital Vision/Getty

Fast electron laser pulses are helping unravel the precise mechanism by which plants capture energy from sunlight.

Okayama University researchers co-led a study of Photosystem II, the vast protein that handles the photosynthetic step in which light drives the oxidation of water to release molecular oxygen.

The team analyzed the protein using X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL), firing a powerful femtosecond — just one quadrillionth of a second — pulse of electrons at the protein. The electrons bounce off the atoms in the protein; by measuring the electron scatter pattern, the team can work backward to calculate where all the protein’s atoms are, revealing its structure.

Using flashes of light to simulate sunlight, followed by precisely timed XFEL pulses, the researchers captured before-and-after images of the protein during oxygen formation. Comparing the two images, they identified the key atomic motions within the protein as the oxygen molecule was formed, pinpointing the probable spot where the molecule is made.

Supported content

  1. Nature 543, 131– 135 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nature21400

View the article on the Nature Index

1 April 2016 - 31 March 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 32.64% Domestic
  • 67.36% International

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

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (79 total)

  • Okayama University, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (5.71)
  2. Kyoto University, Japan (3.22)
  3. Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), Japan (2.98)
  4. Osaka University, Japan (2.74)
  5. Nagoya University, Japan (2.17)
  6. Kobe University, Japan (1.90)
  7. High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Japan (1.44)
  8. Kyushu University, Japan (1.43)
  9. Ehime University, Japan (1.33)
  10. RIKEN, Japan (1.25)

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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