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.

121 22.08 21.41

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Physical Sciences 74 3.43 2.76
Life Sciences 17 6.45 6.45
Earth & Environmental Sciences 11 3.91 3.91
Chemistry 20 8.61 8.61

Highlight of the month

Granular guardians of the immune system



Scientists have identified the protein that controls the storage and release of spermine and spermidine — molecules that regulate cell growth and survival — within immune cells.

Mast cells are white blood cells filled with granules that store and release crucial chemical messengers, such as serotonin and histamine, as part of the immune response. Spermine and spermidine influence this process, but how they enter and exit the granules is unknown.

Researchers from Okayama University traced the activity of vesicular polyamine transporter (VPAT) — a protein that acts as gatekeeper for spermine and spermidine in nerve cell granules — in mast cells from rat bone marrow. They found that VPAT did control the storage and release of spermine and spermidine in mast cells, but via a different subpopulation of granules to those that discharge histamine and serotonin.

The findings suggest that mast cells carry diverse granules. Characterizing them further may help clarify their role in the immune system.

Supported content

  1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292, 3909-3918 (2017). doi: 10.1074/jbc.m116.756197

View the article on the Nature Index

1 April 2016 - 31 March 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 32.69% Domestic
  • 67.31% International

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

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (80 total)

  • Okayama University, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (6.31)
  2. Osaka University, Japan (3.28)
  3. Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), Japan (3.09)
  4. Kyoto University, Japan (2.92)
  5. Kobe University, Japan (1.90)
  6. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan (1.84)
  7. Nagoya University, Japan (1.81)
  8. RIKEN, Japan (1.56)
  9. Tohoku University, Japan (1.50)
  10. High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Japan (1.47)

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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