Vision & Mission


What key biological traits make us ‘human’,
and how can knowing these lead us
to better cures for disease?


Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology (WPI-ASHBi) was launched in October 2018 with funding from the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The Institute inaugurated with 13 principal investigators (PIs) to create and promote human biology to elucidate key principles of human traits, including disease states. The Institute will perform interdisciplinary research between biology and mathematics (machine learning and topological data analysis) and between biology and humanities/social sciences (bioethics and philosophy on life), respectively. The Institute implements three research development cores for cutting-edge single-cell genome information analysis, primate genome editing, and non-human primate phenotype analysis, respectively. The Institute establishes a link with international institutions such as the EMBL, University of Cambridge, and Karolinska Institutet, creating a stratified organization for research promotion and strengthening its international profile.

The theme and key research goals of ASHBi

ASHBi investigates a key concept of human biology with a particular focus on genome regulation and disease modeling, creating a foundation of knowledge for developing innovative therapies.

Promote the study of human biology, with a focus on genome regulation.
Clarify the principles defining the species differences and human traits.
Generate primate models for intractable human diseases.
Reconstitute key human cell lineages or tissues in vitro.
Contribute to formalizing an international ethics standard for human biology research.

Key Features
of the Institute

Research collaboration between biology and mathematics, and between biology and the humanities
Core facilities with leading-edge technologies, such as single-cell genome information analysis and primate genome engineering
Prioritized support for overseas PIs and links with key international institutions (including EMBL, University of Cambridge, Karolinska Institutet)
Strong links with the Kyoto University Hospital
Prioritized support for early-career PIs linking with the University’s researcher fostering projects (Hakubi project and K-CONNEX).