Congratulatory Address from Dr. Hiroo Imura
(Chairperson of WPI Committee)

First of all, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all members of Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) on the completion of new research building. I congratulate also Osaka University, President Professor. Wasida, who continuously supported this project.

Since 1990s, Japanese Government tried to establish world well-known Center of Excellence which spontaneously attracts researchers from all over the world. However, previous COE programs were not so successful probably due to the content of funds and also attitudes of researchers. Based on studies of previous programs, Japanese Government started the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) with great expectation which could be said to be an ultimate COE Program in our country.

Among 5 programs first selected, IFReC is one of the most prominent ones with its excellent research staff and aim of researches. The immune system which is indispensable for living organisms has shaped up during long process of evolution and, therefore, has very complex organization. Better understanding of the immune system is certainly one of the important research subjects in life science and contributes to human health and welware. For this purpose, multi-disciplinary researches from new view-points are required. Completion of new research building that accommodates researchers of diverse disciplines certainly stimulates researches.

Needless to say, excellent researches are born not necessarily from splendid research facilities. It is important, however, to have research facilities where people with different disciplines always meet together and discuss, that can be said melting-pots. New research facilities of IFReC which are best equipped certainly facilitate research activities. I conclude my remarks with great expectation to the future of IFReC.