RIKEN Brain Science Institute
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RIKEN Brain Science Institute, often abbreviated as RIKEN-BSI and now RIKEN Centre for Brain Science, is a non-profit research institute focusing on neuroscience located in Wakō city, Saitama Prefecture in the greater Tokyo area, Japan. It was established to lead the field of neuroscience in 1997 as one of the institutes in RIKEN. The current director is Yasushi Miyashita (previous director: Susumu Tonegawa, joint appointment with Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Masao Ito, formerly a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Tokyo University, joined RIKEN as the second director of the (former) International Frontier System and initiated the neuroscience research in RIKEN in 1989 after his retirement. It was first major move towards biological science in RIKEN, which had been dominated by physics and chemistry. In 1997, it was expanded to become BSI and Ito became the first director. Subsequently, it was led by the second director, Shun'ichi Amari and interim director Keiji Tanaka, and then currently by 1987 Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa (2009-). The associate directors are Keiji Tanaka, Hitoshi Okamoto, Atsushi Miyawaki, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba and Shin Ohkochi.
Aiming at an interdisciplinary understanding of the brain, its research target ranges from molecular and cell biology to cognitive and computational neuroscience. About 500 researchers in 50 laboratories belong to BSI and about 20% them are non-Japanese.