Introduction to Osaka University

Introduction to Osaka University

President Toshio HIRANO's Profile

Hirano image (R-large)
Having obtained his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine at Osaka University in 1972, and a PhD in 1979, President Toshio Hirano has held many positions of responsibility at Osaka University and other academic institutions over the years. These roles have included several professorships, Director of the Biomedical Research Center, and Dean of the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences and of the Graduate School of Medicine. Most recently, in 2011, he was appointed as the 17th President of Osaka University.

With more than 250 peer-reviewed publications to his name, President Hirano is an eminent researcher in the field of molecular immunology. He is best known for the important discovery of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene in 1986 and for the clarification of the role of this gene in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. This work has led to him being honoured with some of the most prestigious Japanese and international awards for scientific research, including the Novartis Prize for Immunology in 1992, the Emperor’s Purple Ribbon Medal in 2006, the Crafoord Prize in 2009 (of which he was the first ever Japanese recipient), and the Japan Prize in 2011.

Given his long-standing academic relationship with Osaka University and his status as a world-renowned scientist, President Hirano is passionate about advancing Osaka University as a world-class institution. To this end, he initiated structural reforms and organizational changes including the creation of the Institute for Academic Initiatives in 2012, which promotes interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research and innovative doctoral programs. President Hirano plans to lead Osaka University in its aspiration to become one of the top 10 comprehensive research institutions in the world by its 100th anniversary in 2031.

"Toshio Hirano, Interleukin 6 in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases: a personal memoir" Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Ser. B, Phys Biol Sci. 2010 July 21; 86(7): 717–730.  doi: 10.2183/pjab.86.717 (PubMed)

Curriculum Vitae

Toshio HIRANO
President, Osaka University

Research Interests and Experience

  • Immunology

Education

  • 1979 Degree in Medical Science, Osaka University
  • 1972 Graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Osaka University

Positions Held

  • Since 2011 President, Osaka University
  • 2008-2011  Dean, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University
  • 2007-2011  Professor, Laboratory of Developmental Immunology, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University
  • 2007-2008  Councilor Member, Osaka University
  • 2004-2006  Dean, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
  • 2003-2004  Councilor Member, Osaka University
  • 2002-2011  Professor, Laboratory of Developmental Immunology, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
  • 2001-2011  Professor, Department of Molecular Oncology (Lab Developmental Immunology), Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University
  • 1997-1999  Director, Biomedical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Osaka University
  • 1989-2001  Professor, Division of Molecular Oncology, Biomedical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Osaka University
  • 1984-1989  Associate Professor, Division of Immunology, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University
  • 1980-1984  Associate Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Institute for Medical Immunology, School of Medicine, Kumamoto University
  • 1978-1980  Medical staff, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Osaka Prefectural Habikino
  • 1973-1976  Visiting Fellow, NIH, USA

Awards and Memberships

Publications

    Interview with the President

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