RIKEN (Japan)

RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology logoRIKEN is Japan’s largest publicly funded basic research organization, established to conduct scientific investigations in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, engineering and the life sciences, and to disseminate the results of its research and technological developments. The main RIKEN campus is located in the city of Wako, near Tokyo, and other RIKEN institutes are located throughout Japan. The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) was launched in April 2000 in the city of Kobe, Japan to conduct studies into the basic mechanisms of development and regeneration, and to help provide scientific bases for regenerative medicine. The basic biology and potential applications of stem cells are focuses of research in several labs at the Center, which also recently opened a Division of Human Stem Cell Technology, which supports scientists in the CDB and throughout Japan with technology and expertise required for the study of human embryonic stem cells. CDB scientists have also played a central role in the formulation and amendment of Japanese national stem cell and SCNT policies.

A second RIKEN research center, the Bioresources Center (BRC), located in Saitama, has recently been selected as the repository and distribution for the only human ES cell lines derived in Japan to date, kHES1-3, which were originally derived by Norio Nakatsuji’s lab in Kyoto University. These lines will soon be available for international distribution. RIKEN has an annual research budget of 1.4 billion yen, with 0.4 billion yen decided to stem cell research.


RIKEN stem cell strategy

In 2007, the CDB established the Division of Human Stem Cell Technology (DHSCT) to provide a full spectrum of support services to Japanese labs with an interest in using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and their derivatives in research. The DHSCT provides technological expertise, training and support in hESC culture, maintenance, distribution and management, meeting the needs of both experienced and first-time users in the life sciences research community. The CDB also serves as one of the hubs for the Japanese government’s research initiatives into Regenerative Medicine and induced pluripotency, and several CDB researchers serve or have served on government advisory bodies relevant to stem cell research. The CDB strives to improve our understanding of the basic biology of stem and progenitor cells, with the goal of providing a solid scientific foundation for the emerging field of regenerative medicine.


Recent research achievements

Legal issues

Other activities

Key stem cell centres/investments


RIKEN support for stem cell research - http://www.riken.jp/
RIKEN CDB - http://www.cdb.riken.jp/en/index.html
JST - http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/index.html
JSPS - http://www.jsps.go.jp/english/index.html


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