Kanazawa University (KU)


Established nearly seven decades ago but with roots stretching back over a century and a half, Kanazawa University has a proud tradition of contributing to the development of Japan and the world. Only two and a half hours by bullet train from Tokyo, the university has become the leading university on the Sea of Japan coast, with more than 10,000 students enrolled in various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Embracing globalization

Kanazawa University is strongly committed to implementing global standards for education, training and research. Realizing the importance of establishing networks and collaboration in these areas, the university has recently developed new goals to help it to address the challenges of the future. In particular, it will further its contribution to society by promoting international and interdisciplinary education and research through establishing the Kanazawa University Model for Globalization, which will consolidate Kanazawa University’s place at the centre of higher education and research in East Asia.

Strengthening priority research and Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI)

Kanazawa University is cultivating the full spectrum of research — from fundamental investigations to technology-related studies. In particular, Kanazawa University’s five priority research areas are nanoscience research using innovative atomic force microscopy techniques; nutrition-related diseases; cancer progression; cultural-resource studies; and innovative material sciences based on supramolecules. As one of the outcomes, Kanazawa University established Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI) which was selected as a World Premier International (WPI) research center by the Japanese government in 2017. NanoLSI challenges to understand nanoscale mechanisms of life phenomena by exploring “uncharted nano-realms.”

Promoting interdisciplinarity

Kanazawa University is adopting a collaborative and network-based approach to foster outstanding researchers who work internationally and across disciplines to engage in new challenges that require breaking conventional molds. To this end, the university established the Institute for Frontier Science Initiative (InFiniti) in 2015 to further promote interdisciplinary research and foster global scientists. The 16 research units in the initiative are primarily led by young principal investigators in conjunction with unit leaders.

Encouraging brain circulation

With its goal of being “a research university dedicated to education, while opening its doors to local and global society,” Kanazawa University seeks to be a hub for top-class education and research in East Asia. It aims to provide a world-class international research environment that attracts excellent young researchers who are inspired to tackle new challenges.

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

1 February 2017 - 31 January 2018

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Kanazawa University (KU) published between 1 February 2017 - 31 January 2018 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.

59 26.03 25.58

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Life Sciences 25 6.81 6.81
Chemistry 24 14.57 14.57
Physical Sciences 14 5.54 5.09
Earth & Environmental Sciences 2 0.55 0.55

Highlight of the month

Smashing cell walls boosts biofuel production

© NNehring/E+/Getty

© NNehring/E+/Getty

A biocompatible solvent designed to dissolve cellulose could overcome a barrier impeding the transformation of plant matter into biofuel.

Plants encase their cells in a tough wall of cellulose, a hydrocarbon structure highly resistant to chemical and physical attack. The harsh conditions needed to break cellulose apart so that it could be fermented into biofuel would kill the fermentation microbes.

Kanazawa University researchers have now designed a solvent that breaks down cellulose while leaving microbes unharmed. The team’s starting point was an ‘ionic liquid’, a solvent with two components: one positively charged and the other negatively charged. While some ionic liquids can dissolve cellulose, the positively charged component also attacks the fermentation microbes, being attracted to the negatively charged components in their membranes.

The researchers supressed this attraction, while maintaining cellulose attack, by designing a single-component solvent that incorporated the positively and negatively charged parts into the same molecule. The solvent could be used to convert cellulose all the way to ethanol in a single reactor.

Supported content

  1. Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, 16052–16055 (2017). doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b08914

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Kanazawa University (KU)

More research highlights from Kanazawa University (KU)

1 February 2017 - 31 January 2018

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 62.98% Domestic
  • 37.02% International

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

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (79 total)

  • Kanazawa University (KU), Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. University of Tsukuba, Japan (3.40)
  2. Hokkaido University, Japan (3.40)
  3. Nagoya University, Japan (2.91)
  4. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (2.76)
  5. Doshisha University, Japan (2.48)
  6. Kyushu University, Japan (2.10)
  7. Kyoto University, Japan (2.05)
  8. Tohoku University, Japan (1.80)
  9. Osaka University, Japan (1.24)
  10. RIKEN, Japan (1.15)

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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