About IFReC

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Uniqueness and Objectives

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected the Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) as part of the World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Program, which aims to create world-leading visible research centers, and IFReC was established on October 1, 2007 with Shizuo Akira, a leading immunology researcher at its head.

Japanese researchers are driving modern immunological research. Great advances have been made by Osaka University researchers such as Yuichi Yamamura (former Osaka University president) and Tadamitsu Kishimoto (current PI). Such an illustrious foundation is the basis for IFReC and the pioneering immunology researchers gathered here working toward dynamic development in immunology research through the cultivation of new fields. Interdisciplinary researches between immunology, imaging technologies and bioinformatics enable the visualization of immune reactions in living organisms (in vivo) and provide a basis for clarifying the dynamics of the immune system as a whole using robust predictive models.

From April 2017, the center has entered a new era as an Osaka University International Advanced Research Institute Center and with contracts concluded with the pharmaceutical companies to move forward to enhance basic research in immunology as well as accelerate the return of cutting-edge research outcomes to society.

IFReC has selected Kiyoshi Takeda, who is a leading authority in the fields of innate immunity and gut immunity, to be the next director starting July 2019. We look forward to the beginning of a new departure for IFReC.

Historical Background of the Establishment of the Immunology Frontier Research Center Historical Background of the Establishment of the Immunology Frontier Research Center

Historical Background of the Establishment of the Immunology Frontier Research Center


A Message from the Director

Since its inception as a WPI research center, IFReC has conducted research with the aim of regulating immune response to pathogenesis and autoimmune diseases as well as cancer cells under the leadership of Director Shizuo Akira. As a result, IFReC has published numerous world’s top level research achievements and has contributed to Osaka University appearing in the world rankings in the field of immunology.

To further develop as an international research center, it is important not only for IFReC to produce leading-edge research results, but also to have a system for sharing those results with society. Consequently, by employing the latest in analytical techniques in a modern research environment, IFReC advances basic research using samples of human origin with the cooperation of the departments of clinical medicine. Further, by incorporating the viewpoint of pharmaceutical companies, we are accelerating the sharing of our basic research with society, namely, through the development of new drugs and new treatment techniques.

As a member of the WPI Academy, the nurturing of next generation researchers and the promotion of internationalization are also important missions. IFReC has concluded international collaboration agreements mainly with European universities and has actively increased networking among researchers. The well-received Immunology Winter School for young researchers has been enhanced and a mentor system has been adopted. IFReC provides an enticing environment for the next generation of researchers and aims to be an indispensable part of the career paths of talented international researchers.

Our researchers and staff will continue to strive to make IFReC a world-leading research center and a source of innovative achievements in immunology.

Director, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University
Kiyoshi Takeda


An attractive international research center

IFReC has concluded Academic Cooperation Agreements with foreign institutes to expand our research activity. We are dedicated to the development of an attractive international research center with an excellent environment and support system that can draw front-line research scientists from around the world. Through the realization of this attractive international research center, we are aiming for novel strategies for the development of vaccines for infectious diseases, original concepts for immunity-based therapies for various infectious diseases and cancer, and methods for treating autoimmune diseases.

The WPI program has set a target for a ratio of foreign researchers of at least 30%. At IFReC, researchers are recruited by international public advertisements, and an English-speaking environment has been created throughout the center, including the administrative office.

Our bilingual staff (English, French, etc) ensures strong support for researchers from abroad in order to make it possible for them to dedicate themselves to their research without concerns in their daily life and to avoid problems with clerical or administrative business. The foreign researchers' community is also quite active, exchanging information and conducting various events.

IFReC offers researchers from overseas:

  • Sufficient research space and facilities and recruitment of lab staff
  • Financial support for setting up a laboratory
  • Support for obtaining competitive research funds
  • Support for finding accommodations
  • Support for finding schools for children.
    (IFReC has connections with a nearby international school
  • Support for arranging the procedures required to come to Japan
  • Information on daily life, such as hospitals, banks, insurance, education for children, etc.