About NIHS

 

  The National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) conducts testing, research, and studies toward the proper evaluation of the quality, safety, and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, foods, and the numerous chemicals in the living environment.
  The results of these activities are reflected in welfare administration to ensure and/or improve Japanese citizens?f health and their environment.
  In this way, NIHS?fs operations are intimately connected with the lives of all citizens, and the results obtained through its work are reflected on their daily living.
  Issues pertaining to human health change with the times. Many new pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and substances used in daily living are being created. Given this, the NIHS serves to control the products that are generated by science and technology to make sure that they truly benefit the general public. In other words, NIHS works to ensure harmony between scientific technology and human beings.
  This kind of research is referred to as ?gregulatory science?h, and it is an area in which we, the staff of the NIHS, actively pursue each and every day.

Toru Kawanishi
Director General

 

  The National Institute of Health Sciences(NIHS), which was established in Tokyo in 1874 as the Tokyo Drug Control Laboratory (later renamed the Tokyo Institute of Hygienic Sciences), is now a major organization within the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).It is the oldest national research institute in Japan and currently consists of 21 divisions, 5 of which belong to the Biological Safety Research Center (BSRC).
  Initially, the NIHS was principally engaged in the analysis and qulity inspecion of imported drugs and in the analysis of chemicals in foodstuffs and drinking water as well as hot spring water. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, research on the manufacturing of essential drugs became of major significance due to difficulties and in some cases the cessation of their importation. This paved the way for Jpapan to establish a modern pharmaceutical industry.
  In 1922, the first Experimental Station for Medicinal Plants, which was established at Kaskabe, began research involving trial planting and other activities.
  In 1938, the Institute was placed under the contol of the newly launched Ministry of Health and Welfare. In 1946, the laboratory moved its office from Kanda Izumi-cho to its current location in Yoga, since when the NIHS has greatly expanded its facilities, staff and organization. In 1949, its name was changed to the National Institute of Hygienic Health Sciences. In the same year, the Osaka Institute of Hygienic Health Sciences became the Institute's Osaka Branch.
  In 1978, the Biological Safety Research Center was established in the NIHS together with a new building and animal facilities. The Center serves as Japan's leading safety testing and research organization.
  In 1980, the main Experimental Station for Medicinal Plants was moved from Kasukabe to Tsukuba, where it became the Tsukuba Experimental Station for Medicinal Plants. While strengthening its operations, the Station also established a system for researchers to communicate with other laboratories in Hokkaido, Izu, Wakayama, and Tanegashima.
  Since 1985, various new substances requiring the evaluation of quality, safety or efficacy have emerged. These include not only pharmaceuticals in the form of new drugs and recombinant DNA products, but also medical devices and their materials, newly developed food products, and natural additives. New research activities to evaluate their quality and safety have become necessary.
  In 1997, with the reorganization of the requlatory system for pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Japan, the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Evaluation Center was established in the NIHS. This Center is responsible for pre-marketing evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medical devives.
  In 2002, consolidation of food-related fields and other evolving fields resulted in the reorganization of national research institutes. This led to the closing of the Experimental Station for Medicinal Plants in Izu and the establishment of Division of Cellular and Gene Therapy Products, the Division of Biomedical Food Research, and the Division of Medical Safety Science in the NIHS.
  In 2004, the Osaka Branch was reorganized to conduct research that will provide the basis for developing epoch-making medicinal products through the application of genome science, protein science and other evolving sciences. As part of this reorganization, the Branch was relocated to Ibaraki Ctiy in Osaka Prefecture.
  Meanwhile, unification of the approval and examination system of pharmaceuticals resulted in the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Evaluation Center merging with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency.
  In 2005, the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation was established to conduct research on converting the fruits of basic research into pharmaceutical and medical device development as well as supply research resources for supporting such development in Japan. Jurisdiction over the Call Bank Division, Osaka Branch, and Experimental Stations for Medicinal Plants (Hokkaido, Tsukuba, Wakayama, and Tanegashima) was transferred to this Institute.
  NIHS is a key organization engaged in testing and research from an international perspective, and also provides international cooperation in relevant fields.

 

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