History & Organization


Osaka University had been active in the study of proteins and enzymes since its foundation in 1931, and it had been a long-standing desire of the University authorities to promote further this facet of the University’s activities by establishing a research institute specialized in protein science. In 1955 an official plan was drafted to establish such an institute as a part of Osaka University and submitted to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. However, at the time the Ministry agreed to the opening of a new laboratory in the Faculty of Science for organic chemical studies of proteins and amino acids. The new laboratory was opened in 1956, and Professor Shiro Akabori, who had played a pivotal role in protein research at the Faculty of Science, was appointed as its supervisor. In the meantime, among scientists in the relevant fields had continuously grown a strong desire for the establishment of a central institute for protein research, with the aim of facilitating close cooperation among researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields. In 1957, the Science Council of Japan urged the Government to consider the foundation of such an institute somewhere in the country. It was at this time that the Government decided to establish a research institute for protein science attached to Osaka University. The Institute for Protein Research (IPR) was thus founded formally on April 1, 1958, as a part of Osaka University, and Professor Shiro Akabori was appointed as its first director. The IPR began its research activities in an old building near the main building of the Faculty of Science at that time, which was located at Nakanoshima in downtown Osaka. Since then, IPR has developed significantly in terms of its scientific activity and infrastructures. Now, The IPR comprises four divisions with twelve laboratories and an attached research center with six laboratories, serving as a joint-use facility for the scientists working in the fields of protein and related sciences.