School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine / Graduate  School of Biomedical Science and Engineering / Faculty of  Medicine, Hokkaido University
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Particle Beams for Biomedical Science and Engineering

Radiation Oncology

Shinichi Shimizu image

Professor Shinichi Shimizu

Radiation Oncology image A feature of radiation therapy is that it controls or eradicates neoplasms which are abnormal growth of tissue, and enables regeneration to maintain the functions of individual organs, while retaining the function of the living body. This feature differs from surgical therapies that remove organs or other parts from the body. Radiation therapy that uses X-rays or particle beam have become possible by application of science and engineering techniques to medicine. Issues surrounding radiation therapy include the delivery of large radiation doses to control tumors, limiting the dose irradiated to the normal tissue and organs around and behind the tumors to reduce adverse effects, and coping with organs whose positions constantly move due to body movement, respiration, heartbeat, and intestinal peristalsis even when patients are immobilized. These obstacles can be overcome and more practical and effective equipment and treatment technology will be developed by understanding innovative technologies available in science and engineering in terms of body structure and the functioning of the human organism based on medical and physiological knowledge. This course will train students to become internationally acknowledged researchers and educators as well as specialists who contribute to the improvement in survival and quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients, achieved through research into particle beam therapy and technology to overcome the problems of organ movement during the radiation treatment and through development of new medical technologies.

Radiation Medical Physics

Associate Professor Taeko Matsuura

Associate Professor Taeko Matsuura

Assistant Professor Seishin Takao image

Assistant Professor Seishin Takao

Radiation Medical Physics image With the background of improved treatment outcomes due to the advance of medical science and engineering, the needs for radiation treatment have rapidly increased. Particularly, particle beam therapy that applies particle accelerators to medical treatment has been welcomed for its ability to minimize the physical burden on patients by concentrating the delivered doses on the cancer lesion. Recent use of image-guided radiation therapy has enabled treatments that incorporate features of biological response and changes in tumor shapes and movement of patients during treatment. Applying science and engineering technology including radiation physics, quantum beam applied engineering, and image engineering to practical clinical settings, we provide training in collaboration with the Hokkaido University Hospital Proton Beam Therapy Center. The research activities here mainly involve the development of irradiation technology and devices to improve treatment outcomes while minimizing adverse side effects, development of image-guided radiation therapy that incorporates even small changes in tumor shapes and movement of patients, development of dose calculation and optimization methods to realize a highly precise treatment, and also verification of treatment effects in light of the reactions at the cellular level. By integrating these activities, we train researchers of medical physics and engineers to become engaged in the development of medical equipment.

Radiation for Biomedical Science and Engineering

Medical Physics and Engineering

Professor Masayori Ishikawa image

Professor Masayori Ishikawa

Medical Applied Basic Physics image Medical physics is an indispensable element in radiation therapy. However, the study in this field in Japan is behind that in other countries. In the USA, a country with highly advanced radiation therapy, medical physicists are employed in radiation therapy facilities, and engage in the quality control of radiation therapy and the development of new radiation therapies, but in Japan an environment allowing this kind of contribution has not developed fully. Especially, as the radiation dosimetry is a basic technology common to radiodiagnosis and nuclear medicine as well as radiation therapy, such specialized education is essential to researchers of medical physics, and also for engineers engaged in the development of medical equipment for radiation therapy. Collaborating with Hokkaido University Hospital, this course trains researchers and engineers who will be able to contribute to medical care through research to develop technology that will be useful in clinical settings.

Clinical Medical Physics

Assistant Professor Ryusuke Suzuki image

Assistant Professor Ryusuke Suzuki

Assistant Professor Naoki Miyamoto image

Assistant Professor Naoki Miyamoto

Looking at problems in clinical settings as providing research seeds (ideas) and finding solutions to these problems based on the knowledge and technology of science and engineering with medical ethics will lead to new discoveries of benefit to future generations. For this purpose, conducting research into conditions close to hospitals will be of help to develop new ideas. The ideas must be verified through experiments and simulation in laboratories, and will then lead to the development of medical equipment through translational research in collaboration with industry. Through this process we train researchers who will be able to contribute to society with the abilities required of medical physicists.

Medical Applied Basic Physics

Professor Masayuki Aikawa image

Professor Masayuki Aikawa

Medical Applied Basic Physics imageIn medical fields including radiation therapy and particle beam therapy, there are cases where a basic understanding of natural science phenomena, especially physics, are important to solve problems or develop new technologies. For example, it is necessary to investigate the variations in the probabilities (cross-sectional areas) of nuclear exposure systematically to accurately estimate the necessary volume of radioactive isotopes (RI) to be used in medical care while minimizing unnecessary exposure to and use of RI. We focus particularly on charged particle-induced reactions, and experimentally measure the cross-sectional areas induced by RI for medical use. In this manner we train specialists who can contribute to society by conducting research into newly acquired knowledge applied to medical care from the viewpoints of basic physics.

Molecular Biomedical Science and Engineering Course

Biomedical Imaging

Medical Image Analysis

Professor Chietsugu Katoh image

Professor Chietsugu Katoh

Medical Image Analysis image We perform computer processing of images from nuclear medicine examinations (PET, SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography)), CT, and MRI, and conduct research to interpret the medical information in the data from the images. For tumor images, we focus on estimates of malignancy and volumes of lesions, estimates of peripheral lesions, estimates of appropriate irradiation ranges, and processing of image artifacts in the movement of tumors due to respiration and heartbeat. For images of myocardium and the brain, we perform compartment model analyses on dynamic sequential images when contrast agent or radioactive isotopes has been administered, evaluate ischemic lesions quantitatively, and perform quantitative analysis to determine blood flow and oxygen consumption in tissue. We train researchers who will be able to develop programs necessary to enable these evaluations.

Integrated Molecular Imaging

Professor Yuji Kuge image

Professor Yuji Kuge

Associate Professor Hironobu Yasui image

Associate Professor Hironobu Yasui

Assistant Professor Kei Higashikawa image

Assistant Professor Kei Higashikawa

Integrated Molecular Imaging image Molecular imaging diagnosis employs probes (molecular probes) that convert molecular information in vivo into measurable signals. The research aims to develop new molecular probes for use in molecular imaging diagnosis, exploring functional molecules, design probes, and development of probe synthesis technology and synthesizing equipment. Further, we aim to translate molecular imaging diagnosis discoveries into practical applications in clinical settings through translational research. Researchers are also trained to become able to contribute to medical care and the wider society by systematically acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary through these research and development activities.

Biomarker Imaging Science

Lecturer Khin Khin Tha image

Lecturer Khin Khin Tha

Biomarker Imaging Science imageLately, individualized medical technology using pinpoint irradiation techniques such as molecular targeted therapy and proton beam therapy has attracted attention. Noninvasive imaging including MRI and CT are widely applied to select such therapies, conduct treatment planning, and estimate and evaluate treatment effects. Education and research provided here includes commonly employed image anatomy principles using the following imaging methods: high precision imaging diagnostics with high resolution and quantitative selectivity using the latest MRI and CT technologies, imaging methods that can detect minute lesions and early changes in vivo noninvasively (something that has been difficult in the past), noninvasive imaging methods that reflect changes in biological functioning at the cellular or molecular level as well as provides morphological information, and also noninvasive, highly precise, innovative imaging diagnoses that reduce the burden on patients.

Biology for Biomedical Science and Engineering

Molecular Oncology

Associate Professor Fumihiro Higashino image

Associate Professor Fumihiro Higashino

Molecular Oncology image Understanding the mechanisms of carcinogenesis at the molecular level is essential for eradication of cancer, the most frequent cause of death among Japanese, and it is indispensable for developing new diagnostic methods and therapies to effectively deal with cancer. In recent years, the analysis of RNA such as non-coding RNA has advanced rapidly based on the results of genome projects, and a range of relationships between carcinogenesis and RNA are becoming clear. The main objective of this area is to provide systematic education and research training from basics to applications to develop new methods of diagnosis and therapies to deal with cancer using new findings from the research to elucidate unexplored carcinogenetic mechanisms, and based on molecular biological analysis targeting RNA and viruses.

Molecular and Cellular Dynamics Research

Lecturer Jin-Min Nam image

Lecturer Jin-Min Nam

Molecular and Cellular Dynamics Research imageRadiation therapy is widely used in cancer treatments, but there are a great variety of molecules and molecular mechanisms that cause cancers, and the influence of irradiation on normal cells and cancer cells has not been fully elucidated. Using experimental methods of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry, we investigate the process of how cancer cells acquire their invasiveness under the stress of radiation, and the molecular mechanisms involved. In this work we also investigate the three-dimensional structure of cells and the extracellular microenvironment. Through these research activities we train researchers and educators who will be able to play internationally leading roles with a detailed knowledge of cancer research and techniques used in these areas.