New Century of Biomedical Engineering at Tohoku University

Yoshifumi Saijo

Magnoscope, the electrical stethoscope and speaker for training of medical students, is introduced in the first page of the history of medical-engineering collaboration at Tohoku University. It was developed by the collaboration between Professor Akira SATO at the Department of Pediatrics in Medicine and Professor Heiichi NUKIYAMA at the Department of Electrical Engineering. The result was published in the 6th volume of the Japan Journal of Medical Device in 1929. It might have required for several years to develop the Magnoscopee and the Japanese Society of Medical Instrumentation was found in 1923. Thus approximately 100 years have passed since the start of medical-engineering collaboration and we are now entering the next 100 years. “You will not get the tiger cub without entering the tiger's den.” is the secret of success of the medical-engineering collaboration. Emeritus Professor Motonao TANAKA, who developed worild’s first ultrasound tomogram of the heart and also has been also my life-long mentor, always said to me “I conducted my research at Professor Yoshimitsu KIKUCHI’s lab located in at Katahira campus.” The essential knowledge isn’t acquired by reading books but is acquired through the circumstance.

Inspired by Stanford Biodesign, our Graduate School of
Biomedical Engineering modernized the policy and started problem searching learning in training of medical device innovation, in which engineering students visited hospital to find unmet clinical needs. Various medical engineering collaborative studies are being conducted by invitation of medical professionals to engineering labs.

In the coronavirus pandemic, new working styles such as online class or telework have been on the rise. Although the opportunities of informal communications in drinking parties decreased, “entering the tiger's den” becomes easier by making full use of online tools. In the next 100 years, close communication with various people in the various countries, exceeding the limit of geographical distance, is required for interdisciplinary and international medical-engineering collaboration.

The philosophy of the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering is not the fusion of medicine and engineering but the chemical reaction between medicine and engineering to develop biomedical engineering as the interdisciplinary area of science. Our activity is not limited in the research on biomedical engineering or development of the medical devices. Our vision is to revolutionize the concept of health in order to enrich the society.
Students, medical professionals and companies, let’s create next 100 years with us!

Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University
Yoshifumi Saijo

Our Vision at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is an education and research discipline that seeks to bring innovation to the conventional fields of medicine and biology through an engineering perspective predicated on mathematics, physics and chemistry. Biomedical engineering marries engineering theory, knowledge and practical applications with basic knowledge and specialized technology from medicine and biology in order to further understand the mechanisms and functions of life and, in turn, to promote ongoing advancements in medicine, biology and engineering.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering is dedicated to the pursuit of international-standard biomedical research in line with the tenets of Tohoku University: research first, an open-door policy, and an overriding emphasis on practice-oriented research and education. Research programs at the Graduate School equip graduates with the basic theory and applied expertise to become world-leading researchers and advanced engineers. Our mission is to contribute to social welfare and to improve human welfare by taking a new approach to the conventional foundations of this academic discipline and promoting fundamental innovation in the field of medicine.


Policy and Philosophy

Aim and objective of our graduate school

Our aim is to educate researchers and engineers who have creativity, strong research skills, and expert knowledge in the integrated field of biomedical engineering. These researchers and engineers will pursue their own research and development to promote evolution and innovation in science for the improvement of medicine and social welfare in order to realize a truly affluent society.

Masters Program
We educate researchers and engineers who use their own ideas to solve problems using strong research skills and expertise based on fundamental knowledge in the field of biomedical engineering.
Doctoral Program
We educate expert researchers who choose pertinent, socially relevant research subjects for the betterment of social welfare and medicine. We also educate leaders who teach in their fields and carry out the research subjects while developing their own broader perspectives.

Educational policy

Biomedical engineering is a new interdisciplinary field that bridges the gap between engineering and biomedicine and, by integrating them, aims for the evolution of both. This field develops not only by collaboration and expertise in medicine and engineering, but also by creation of new discipline. Therefore, in our graduate school of biomedical engineering, we teach in-depth knowledge and techniques of engineering and broad expertise in biomedicine to foster the discovery of new principles in biology and medical science and new technology for medical diagnosis and treatment.


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