University of Tsukuba


The University of Tsukuba was established in 1973 as the anchor institution of Tsukuba Science City, Japan’s premier science-and-technology hub. Its roots go back as far as 1872 to modern Japan’s first institute of higher education. As one of the most comprehensive research-intensive universities in Japan, the University of Tsukuba covers a wide range of academic disciplines including humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, information sciences, agriculture, medical sciences, sports sciences and the arts.

Offering about 40 degree programmes taught in English and with the highest percentage of international students of any Japanese university, the university is one of the most international in Japan. Its efforts towards globalizing education and research have borne fruit, as evidenced by it attaining the highest international outlook score out all the universities in Japan in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2016−2017.

In additional to promoting collaboration across national borders, the university emphasizes interdisciplinary research that transcends the borders of academic fields and the academia−industry divide. For example, its Center for Cybernics Research has created the world’s first medical robot through integrating neuroscience, computer science, robotics and medical science, while the university hospital is combining medicine and nuclear physics to develop accelerator-based boron neutron cancer therapy, which destroys tumour cells while leaving healthy cells intact.

In terms of education, the university’s is striving to foster global leaders who can work across all borders and can help solve the complex and multifaceted issues confronting the world today. To this end, the university is transforming its discipline-based education programmes into transdisciplinary programmes. Its Campus-in-Campus Initiative promotes campus sharing with its partners, allowing students and researchers full access to global resources by promoting collaboration across national barriers.

Through such collaboration and programmes, the university is endeavoring to “imagine the future.”

The University of Tsukuba retains sole responsibility for content. © 2017 The University of Tsukuba.

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for University of Tsukuba 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.

192 39.62 35.21

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Physical Sciences 126 16.96 12.55
Chemistry 39 15.44 15.44
Life Sciences 31 7.72 7.72
Earth & Environmental Sciences 2 0.55 0.55

Highlight of the month

Nodding off in a dull class? Blame the neurons

© asiseeit/E+/Getty

© asiseeit/E+/Getty

The irresistible urge to sleep when bored can be blamed on neurons in the brain’s pleasure centre.

Sleep is controlled by our internal biological clock and the length of time we’ve already spent awake or asleep. Emotions and brain activity can also trigger sleep at other times, but the neural circuitry behind this effect is unknown.

A team including researchers from the University of Tsukuba pinpointed neurons in the nucleus accumbens — a brain area associated with reward and motivation — that respond to adenosine, a chemical produced in the body that promotes sleep. They used light and chemical stimulation to selectively activate these neurons in mice, which consequently fell into a deep sleep. However, exciting sleep-deprived mice with toys and chocolate suppressed the same neurons and prevented the onset of sleep.

Drugs that target these neurons could help treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 734 (2017). doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00781-4

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from University of Tsukuba

More research highlights from University of Tsukuba

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 31.47% Domestic
  • 68.53% International

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

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (106 total)

  • University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (11.56)
  2. National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan (10.79)
  3. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan (7.06)
  4. RIKEN, Japan (3.92)
  5. Kyushu University, Japan (2.79)
  6. Hiroshima University (HU), Japan (2.74)
  7. Kanazawa University (KU), Japan (2.70)
  8. Kyoto University, Japan (2.55)
  9. Ritsumeikan University, Japan (2.14)
  10. Osaka University, Japan (2.11)

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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