Creating a new cross-disciplinary field integrating the cell and material sciences Investigating the control mechanisms of multimolecular structures within cells and artificial materials as well as their interactions, the iCeMS pioneers the development of stem cell science and technology and mesoscopic science and technology. These are anticipated to lead to innovations in medicine, pharmaceuticals, the environment, and industry.

Mesoscopic domains lie between 1 nm and 1 μm, a realm where materials and life meet and interact. The iCeMS aims to elucidate these interactions and control mechanisms, based on the principles of “mesoscopic physics”, which we seek to expand into a new field of “mesoscopic sciences”: a truly interdisciplinary study combining physics, chemistry, and cell biology.

Stem cell science and technology include: 1) Reprogramming with chemical compounds for iPS cell derivation; 2) Chemical probes for stem cell research; 3) Control of ES/iPS cell growth and differentiation with chemicals and materials; 4) Creation and applications of stem cell-derived model cells in medicine and drug discovery.

Mesoscopic science and technology include: 1) Imaging and probing meso-complexes in living cells; 2) Production of functional mesoscopic materials, including porous coordination polymers (PCPs); 3) Integration of mesoscopic materials and living cells; 4) Modeling, simulation, and physics theories of mesoscopic events in materials and living cells.

To establish a truly cross-disciplinary institute meeting the highest global standards, the iCeMS has implemented the following initiatives: 1) recruitment of distinguished researchers in physics, chemistry and cell biology; 2) institute director-led executive decision making in research strategies and management; 3) open offices and common labs designed to encourage interaction; 4) strong support for foreign/female researchers; 5) iCeMS Kyoto Fellow (junior PI) posts; 6) dispatch of young researchers overseas to increase the institute’s global reach; 7) start-up grants for cross-disciplinary collaboration by young researchers; 8) a collaboration initiative welcoming other Kyoto University researchers; 9) the Innovation Management Group, developing collaboration between the private sector and academia; and 10) the Science Communication Group, strengthening ties among scientists and society.