Message from the Director-General

The National Institute of Genetics (NIG) was established by the Ministry of Education in 1949, for basic research in genetics, as well as its instruction and promotion. Its history has overlapped with the explosive development of life science, and we have produced many outstanding scientific achievements including the neutral theory of molecular evolution, the discovery of the mRNA capping mechanism, and the identification of DNA replication origins, among others.

Since NIG was reorganized as an Inter-University Research Institute in 1984, we have taken the role of stimulating the entire academic community as a national core center for genetics. Additionally, NIG has functioned as the Department of Genetics (now the name has changed to Genetics Program), the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI offering a unique postgraduate program since 1988.

Currently we have about 400 members working in research, maintenance, education and supervision. There are about 30 internationally acclaimed groups in varied fields ranging from bacteria to humans, from molecules to populations, and from theory to experiments.

We also serve the scientific community in Japan and the world by providing research infrastructure, including the DNA database (DDBJ), bio-resources of various experimental organisms, and advanced genomic services.

Our role is to promote our research fields, to share our research achievements worldwide, and to introduce them to society. There are many wonders in life science and NIG is dedicated to tackling such mysteries from the genetic point of view through collaboration with international researchers and driven by new discoveries that will lead to improvements in human welfare. One example is our efforts to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2019 and spread to all over the world. Your continued understanding, cooperation and support of our activities is cordially appreciated.

Director-General, National Institute of Genetics

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