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 March 2016 - 28 February 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Okayama University published between 1 March 2016 - 28 February 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.

124 23.28 22.61

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Physical Sciences 77 4.58 3.91
Chemistry 21 10.36 10.36
Life Sciences 18 5.09 5.09
Earth & Environmental Sciences 9 3.49 3.49

Highlight of the month: Okayama University

How beetles grow the mightiest mandibles

© Marek Stepan/Moment/Getty

© Marek Stepan/Moment/Getty

The size of a beetle’s defensive pincer, its mandibles, may be determined epigenetically, that is by external factors that affect the expression of inherited genes.

Certain physical characteristics of an organism can change in response to environmental conditions, such as temperature or food availability. The broad-horned flour beetle (Gnatocerus cornutus) has nutrient-sensitive mandibles, meaning their growth is driven by nutritional conditions during development, but the molecular mechanism behind this is unclear.

A team including researchers from Okayama University in Japan epigenetically modified G. cornutus larvae to inhibit the activity of several histone deacetylases (HDACs), enzymes that control gene expression. They measured the size of 16 body parts once the beetles were fully grown and found that inhibiting HDAC1 curtailed claw growth whereas inhibiting HDAC3 led to mightier mandibles, with little effect on other body parts.

The findings suggest that specific enzymes control the development of individual exaggerated physical features, the authors say.

Supported content

  1. PNAS 13, 15042–15047 (2016). doi: 10.1073/pnas.1615688114

View the article on the Nature Index

1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 32.95% Domestic
  • 67.05% International

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

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (89 total)

  • Okayama University, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (5.45)
  2. Nagoya University, Japan (3.34)
  3. Osaka University, Japan (2.74)
  4. Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), Japan (2.32)
  5. Kyoto University, Japan (2.32)
  6. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan (2.02)
  7. Kobe University, Japan (1.44)
  8. Kyushu University, Japan (1.42)
  9. Ehime University, Japan (1.33)
  10. High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Japan (1.29)

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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