Construction on the "Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance" buildings at the north end of the University of Tsukuba campus is nearing completion, with the new complex scheduled to open in late June.
For the last two years, the university has been advertising positions for seven new professors "to lead innovative research in Tsukuba Science City." To be known as the Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance (TARA) Center, it is being designed to coordinate frontier research through stimulating interdisciplinary research in 5 broad fields by integrating research in the University with other public and private institutes. TARA intends to create research forums "to catalyze and induce cross-fertilization to contribute to the global advancement of knowledge."
The 5 broad fields being focused on, along with some of the specific fields as announced in advertisements in Science Magazine, are as follows: 1) Biological Sciences ?? research on fields such as gene regulation, cell-cell interaction, morphogenesis, molecular and cellular biology of signal transduction, integrative neural functions, and apoptosis; 2) Materials Sciences ?? studies on electronic and optoelectronic properties in superlattices, quantum wires and dots, and other nanostructures, including exploitation of nanoscale technology and exploration of intriguing materials; 3) Information Management through the Multimedia ?? research on hardware, software and networks, and the role of the multimedia in and with the information society; 4) Human Beings in the Ecosystem ?? scientific, technological and philosophical research on human interactions in the environment; and 5) Liaison, Research Management, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer ?? development and promotion of interdisciplinary research by cooperation among universities, public and private institution at national and international levels.
This is truly to be an ambitious project, as the last three fields mentioned above focus on how to integrate the numerous exciting advances being made into a cohesive whole for the benefit of mankind. We wish this new enterprise well, and hope that it will be able to realize its goals.
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