About The Kitasato Institute

Chairperson's Message

Hirosuke Kobayashi

Kobayashi Hirosuke
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, The Kitasato Institute

In the Next Generation of Life Sciences Continuing to be a Leader

The Kitasato Institute, Japan’s first private medical research facility, was established in 1914. Together with the scientific discovery of life phenomena, the Institute takes as its mission the cultivation of pre eminent researchers, educators, and other professionals in the Life Sciences and related fields and continues to play an active role in education, research, and medicine. Underlying all this is the indomitable spirit of the Institute,s founder, Shibasaburo Kitasato, who devoted his life to preventive medicine and was a groundbreaker in the study of Life Sciences, never wavering in his efforts to apply medicine in a practical way to benefit society.

Now approaching our centennial, a landmark moment, we wish to make it clear as a pioneer in Life Sciences that our vision for the next generation consists in training talented people and making available to society the results of our education and research. To support this effort, we have announced four policies: 1) the training of lofty-minded personnel who can carry on the Kitasato spirit; 2 ) an emphasis on applied medicine and contribution to society in the fields of education, research, and medicine; 3) the training of personnel who not only have specialized knowledge but possess a broad, integrated view of international society; 4 ) the actualization of Kitasato-style education that fosters pride in the name Kitasato and a love of one’s alma mater. Moreover, to make this possible, we are moving ahead with organizational and systemic reforms, infrastructure enhancement, collaboration with society, and international exchange.

As a pioneer in the field, and taking into consideration following generations when Life Sciences and medicine will be ever more important, the Institute strives to take scientific research to higher levels, to train and educate personnel, and to make a contribution to society.

Charter of The Kitasato Institute

The present Kitasato Institute was created when the former Kitasato Institute (an incorporated association) and the former Kitasato University (an academic organization) were merged in 2008 to create a new educational foundation. Of course, the present Kitasato Institute, including Kitasato University, is heir to the accomplishments, traditions and ideals of its predecessors. In Japan The Kitasato Institute is known as the Kitasato Kenkyusho, and Kitasato University is called the Kitasato Gakuen.

The Kitasato Institute, Japan’s first private medical research facility, was officially established in 1914 by Dr. KITASATO Shibasaburo, and in 1918 it was registered as an incorporated association. The Institute was founded on Dr. Kitasato’s important achievements in the field of preventive medicine, especially immunology, where he successfully grew a pure culture of the tetanus bacillus, followed by his discovery of the serotherapy used to treat that disease. In 1962, The Kitasato Institute celebrated the 50th anniversary of its conception, and to commemorate the occasion, it founded Kitasato University as a general Life Sciences university with official recognition of the University being granted in the same year.

In addition to human and material resources, the integration of these institutions brings together an exceptional base of academic research and secures a multifaceted and stable management foundation with the aim of developing a progressive academic administration.

Holding Dr. KITASATO in high regard as its founding father, The Kitasato Institute manifests the Spirit of Kitasato, which he developed over a lifetime—to use your ingenuity and creativity to be a pioneer in the world of science, be thankful to the people and society that fostered you, and repay your debt with your contribution to society, put your knowledge and skills into practice for the benefit of society, tackle whatever challenge you may face with unwavering determination. The Institute applies these approaches to the scientific discovery of life phenomena that constitute the pressing, ever present concerns of humanity. In tandem with this, the Institute makes its primary mission the cultivation of pre-eminent researchers, educators and professionals in the Life Sciences and related fields.

The Kitasato Institute returns the results of its research to society by undertaking a variety of endeavors—chiefly preventive and medical activities based on an applied science approach—in order to broadly contribute to the development of society.


The Genealogy of the Kitasato Institute

Having established the Institute for Infectious Diseases, Shibasaburo Kitasato devoted himself to the eradication of these diseases. His spirit has passed unchanged down to our day. Covering all aspects of the fields of education, research, and medicine, Kitasato University celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012, and the Kitasato Institute its 100th in 2014.

The History of the Kitasato Institute

As the inaugural president of the privately operated Institute for Infectious Diseases (later nationalized), Shibasaburo Kitasato endeavored to eradicate infectious diseases based on his firm belief that research results should be applied to the prevention and treatment of disease. However, he was apprehensive that he would not be able to achieve his goals when the institute was moved from under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs and placed under the Ministry of Education. In 1914, with the full conviction of his beliefs, he established the Kitasato Institute at Shirokane in Tokyo, its present location. This was on the same site as the first tuberculosis hospital in Japan, Tsukushigaoka Yojoen, established in 1893 through the enormous assistance of the venerable Yukichi Fukuzawa. The new Kitasato Institute perpetuates the spirit of Dr. Kitasato, which lives on today in the university and two vocational schools that bear his name and all associated staff and students.

Symbol Mark


The emblem of the Kitasato Institute represents tetanus bacilli surrounded by laurel leaves. It was designed to commemorate the accomplishments of Shibasaburo Kitasato, who achieved the first cultivation of tetanus bacilli and pioneered successful treatment of the disease, in addition to paving the way for numerous advances in preventive medicine, especially in the field of immunology.

The Philosophy of the Kitasato Institute

With profound respect for the sanctity of life, our purpose is to contribute to society by dedicating ourselves to the quest for truth through the application of practical science.


Tradition and Innovation, Wisdom and Practice

The mission of the Kitasato Institute, integrated with Kitasato University, is to return to society the expertise in Life Sciences that has been accumulated over the 100 years since Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato proclaimed the importance of maintaining a spirit of practicality. The Institute remains at the leading edge in nine practical fields that are held crucial in our current times, grounded in the achievements of the closely related fields of education, research and medicine.

Transformation of Kitasato's Vast Wisdom in Life Sciences into Nine Mission Fields

While the Institute, integrated with Kitasato University, strives for greater advances in specialized educational and research fields, it also promotes research to apply these results to clinical situations. In addition, it is strengthening integrated efforts in various areas, from basic research and drug discovery to vaccine development, education and research in infection control, interprofessional health care, education and research in agromedicine for health promotion and environmental preservation, and education and research in the field of medical engineering for longer healthy lives.  The Institute also devotes itself to clinical trials and research to achieve beneficial integration of high-quality, safe pharmaceutical development through the collaboration and aims of its three hospitals, as well as a beneficial combination of Western and Oriental medicine.

Nine Mission Fields

1. Basic Research in Life Sciences

In recent years, Life Sciences study has demonstrated promising applications in such diverse fields as medicine, food and the environment. This, however, requires enhanced basic research. We have therefore prioritized the educational and research goal of “identifying the molecular mechanisms of life phenomena and utilizing this information to advance various academic domains.” We promote basic research in Life Sciences intensively and work to link results to applied research and to benefit society.


2. Interprofessional Health Care Program

Based firmly on the foundation of high esteem garnered by each nationally certified domain and the 14 career fields offered by our four participating schools of medical science and two vocational schools, the Institute aims to cultivate medical professionals, which in turn should promote safer and highly-effective medical care. As one component of this, the Institute offers an “Interprofessional Health Care Program” that has as its objective a mutual understanding of the occupational skills within the diverse range of medical specialties possessed by medical care teams, as well as the ability to work in a functionally collaborative manner.


3. Clinical Education and Research through Inter-hospital Collaboration

The Institute has major medical institutions comprising four participating schools of medical science, two vocational schools and three affiliated hospitals with a total capacity of over 1,800 beds. We take full advantage of our facilities at the three hospitals, and develop undergraduate and postgraduate educational opportunities, occupational education for medical specialists, and research associated directly with clinical practice that firmly maintains the character and specialization of each of the schools.


4. Medical Treatment that Incorporates Western and Oriental Medicine

The leading three hospitals with the Institute’s framework offer state-of-the-art medical care. In addition, our Oriental Medicine Research Center—an Oriental medicine pioneer in Japan—has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine. This unique combination offers an excellent opportunity to practice cutting-edge medicine founded in science, combined with Kampo (TJM; Traditional Japanese Medicine), as well as acupuncture, moxibustion, and other therapies that have been corroborated by empirical investigation.


5. Research and Education in Agromedicine

Included among the objectives of preventive medicine in the 21st century are the response to high-risk factors, prevention of disease outbreaks and enhancement of the quality of life and human health.  Moreover, aiming for deepening preventive medicine, the Center of Education and Research for Agromedicine covering a broad range of life sciences was established in 2013. We set forth as an objective the solving of modern-day issues surrounding food, the environment, and health, and promote the sciences of agromedicine, information dissemination, the formation of knowledge platforms and academic exchange.


6. Research and Education for Infection Control

The threat of infectious diseases has re-emerged on a global scale. From education and basic research into infection control to vaccines and translation research (R&D, clinical trials and other practical scientific research) for anti-infective medications, we possess a structure that enables consistent execution of operations. Specifically, at the heart of our efforts to conduct education and research associated with treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, the Institute has positioned the Graduate School of Infection Control Sciences and the Ōmura Satoshi Memorial Institute under the Research Organization for Infection Control Sciences, which maintains ties to each graduate school.


7. Clinical Research

Pharmaceutical development is the “ultimate practical science” in that it is the return of basic research results to humanity. This is the domain in which we have made our greatest efforts. The hospitals possess proprietary facilities for Phase I clinical trials, and at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, we have developed a curriculum to promote education and research.


8. Preventive Medicine

Following faithfully in the footsteps of Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato, who stressed the importance of public health as early as in the Meiji era (late 19th century to early 20th century), the Institute has established the Graduate School of Infection Control Sciences, the Ōmura Satoshi Memorial Institute, and the Research Organization for Infection Control Sciences in a comprehensive effort to drive education and research with emphasis on infection control. Furthermore, the Institute strives to raise the level of preventive medicine through close collaboration, multidisciplinary research and development of internationally-competitive vaccines for measles, rubella, mumps, pertussis, influenza and other diseases.


9. Medical Engineering Education and Research

In the society of the 21st century, new types of growth models centering on human values are essential, and life innovation is gaining attention as one of those models.  Life innovation covers a wide variety of fields such as health, medical, nursing and child care to renovate our daily lives and functions.  As life science keeps on advancing, the medical field continues to serve as a growing industry in the future.  Expectations for regenerative medicines are quite high, and medical-engineering collaboration in the development of robots for medical and nursing care purposes will become further increased.  Under these circumstances, we are eager to contribute to extending healthy life expectancy through the development and launch of new medical equipment by responding to needs from healthcare professionals.


Corporate Profile

Name The Kitasato Institute
Representative Kobayashi Hirosuke, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees
Head Office 5-9-1, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8641, Japan
Established April 1, 2008 (through integration of the incorporated association, the Kitasato Institute and Kitasato University)
Main Composition

Kitasato University
- Undergraduate Schools
Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Marine Biosciences, Nursing, Science, Allied Health Sciences, Frontier Engineering, Health Sciences
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Graduate Schools
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Marine Biosciences, Nursing, Science, Frontier Engineering, Medical Sciences, Infection Control Sciences
- Research Institutes
Ōmura Satoshi Memorial Institute
- Affiliated Hospitals
Kitasato University Hospital, Kitasato University Kitasato Institute Hospital, Kitasato University Medical Center(KMC)
- Vocational Schools
Kitasato Junior College of Health and Hygienic Sciences, Kitasato Nursing School

Kitasato Memorial Museum
Administrative Office

Executives, Faculty and Students Executives : 26
Board of Council : 88
Faculty and Staff : 5,903*
Students : 9,249*
Alumni : 104,690*
*As of March, 2024
Land and Building Area Land Area : 12,021,766.75m²
Building Area : 593,802.21m²

April, 2024


In 2008, based on a new policy of unifying education, research, and the return of research outcomes to society, the Kitasato Institute was established through the integration of the university and vocational schools, other institutes. Firmly grounded in basic research and ranging over many fields, this organic network of knowledge is supported by the undergraduate schools, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the graduate schools, the research institutes, affiliated hospitals, the vocational schools and other institutes. Through this cooperation and shared vision, the institute seeks to further education and research.

organizationGraduate SchoolsUndergraduate SchoolsResearch InstitutesAffiliated HospitalsVocational SchoolsKitasato Academic Research OrganizationKitasato Memorial Museum