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What is Macromolecular Science?

Why you should choose to study with us

Our world is full of macromolecular materials, but the scientific study of them ? Macromolecular Science ? is still a relatively new discipline. But it is a discipline rich with unexpected and exciting ideas, many of which have the potential to bring into existence high-performance, high-functioning macromolecules

with properties and functions previously unknown to the world.

Staff and students at the Department of Macromolecular Science at the Graduate School of Osaka University are all dedicated to pursuing world-leading research into such high-performance, high-functioning macromolecules. But we need more help; young, fresh minds that are open to the diverse possibilities of Macromolecular Science are vital if we are to realize further progress in our discipline.

That’s why we need you to join our team and work towards innovation in Macromolecular Science for the 21st century.

The Rapid Development of Macromolecular Science

Humans have been making use of naturally occurring macromolecular, or polymeric, materials since ancient times. It was not until around 90 years ago, however, that we began to realize that these materials, so familiar to us, are in fact macromolecules made up of multiple atomic units that have been chemically bonded together. In this way, the emergence and development of Macromolecular Science have been fairly recent occurrences in the history of science.

Despite its relative youth, Macromolecular Science has progressed at a rapidly enhanced timescale, developing in a fraction of the time that has been spent on other scientific fields. It has succeeded in generating many new macromolecular materials, establishing itself in the process as a vital driving force in the improvement of human life and the advancement of human civilization seen in the 20th century.

In particular, there has been an increasing focus on the observation of life phenomena at the molecular level. Many of the concepts accumulated through Macromolecular Science are of particular use in the Life Sciences, which is concerned with complex systems. Now, physicists and biologists are entering the field of Macromolecular Science at an accelerated pace; this is testament to the importance of the discipline today. It also hints at the fact that Macromolecular Science is poised to become one of the most important academic systems of the 21st century.

Department of Macromolecular Science: Outline

Most of the macromolecular materials that surround us today are industrial products, and it should not be forgotten that it was the establishment of Macromolecular Science as a systematic discipline that provided a platform for the conception and launch of these products. In order for this platform to continue functioning, Macromolecular Science needs to move forward as a discipline, comprehensively and organically integrating within it the useful contributions that Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics have to offer. Put simply, Macromolecular Science is most significant in its role as an interdisciplinary field merging innovation from a wide range of disciplines.

For the past 40 years, the Department of Macromolecular Science at the Graduate School of Osaka University has been on the frontline of research in Molecular Science, aiming to contribute to its development as a discipline, and ultimately the development of humankind itself. The Department of Macromolecular Science at the Graduate School of Osaka University is unique in that it seeks to gain an exhaustive understanding of macromolecular science from the perspective of basic science. It is the only macromolecular research institute in Japan affiliated to a graduate school of science; it is also renowned as a global leader in fundamental macromolecular research.

What’s more is that the scope of our research is truly broad, encompassing the synthesis, properties, functions and structure of macromolecules, as well as the relationship between macromolecules and life phenomena. Our research is designed to be profound, balanced, and comprehensive; we are recognized as a top level department both in name and in research content.

The Structure of the Department of Macromolecular Science

The Department of Macromolecular Science comprises three core laboratories and one cooperative laboratory, with each laboratory comprising several research groups.

Macromolecular Synthesis & Reactions
Polymer Synthesis Chemistry AOSHIMA, Sadahito; Professor
Polymer Reaction Chemistry ONITSUKA, Kiyotaka; Professor
Macromolecular Structure, Properties, and Functions
Polymer Physical Chemistry INOUE, Tadashi; Professor
Macromolecular Precise Science HASHIDZUME, Akihito; Professor
Supramolecular Science, Polymer Functional Chemistry YAMAGUCHI, Hiroyasu; Professor
Macromolecular Assemblies
Macromolecular Structure IMADA, Katsumi; Professor
Polymer Assemblies SATO, Takahiro; Professor
Informative Polymer Science (Institute for Protein Research)
Protein Physical Chemistry GOTO, Yuji; Professor
Protein Crystallography KURISU, Genji; Professor
Supramolecular Crystallography NAKAGAWA, Atsushi; Professor
Department for the Administration of Safety and Hygiene
Chemistry for Environment and Safety Group YAMAMOTO, Hitoshi; Professor
Institute for Advanced Co-Creation Studies
Polymeric Materials Design Group TAKASHIMA, Yoshinorii; Professor

Department of Macromolecular Science: Education and Graduate Employment Opportunities

The Department of Macromolecular Science is a graduate facility that has been designed to both teach students fundamental knowledge about the science of macromolecules and allow them to master the advanced theoretical knowledge and technical skills required for the future development of Macromolecular Science.

After course completion, graduates are active in universities and research institutes, as well as in private industry, as vital human resources equipped with comprehensive knowledge of Macromolecular Science. The Department has an excellent recruitment rate to private industry when compared with other departments, which is surely testament to the excellence of our educational policy.

Significant Activities of the Department of Macromolecular Science

1. International Symposia
The Department is a dynamic participant in international exchange in the macromolecular science field. We hold internationally acclaimed, high level symposia on a biennial basis, inviting macromolecular scientists from Japan and overseas who are active on the frontline of macromolecular research. Our high enrollment of international students is testimony to this, and the entire Department of Macromolecular Science is characterized by a strong international atmosphere.

2. Institute of Polymer Research
Macromolecular Science has made significant contributions to the development of industry. It is only appropriate, then, that collaborative research with industry should form an intrinsic part of our departmental activities. Academic and industrial cooperation has been promoted as integral to the Department of Macromolecular Science since our establishment, as it is essential to the development of macromolecular industry; this role is now played by the Institute of Polymer Research.
In terms of specific activity, the Institute of Polymer Research hosts regular meetings of the Joint Council for Macromolecular Research in Industry and Academia, annual or semi-annually.

3. International Macromolecular Foundation
Through the support of individuals and industry, the International Macromolecular Foundation was established in order to encourage dynamic international exchange in the field of Macromolecular Science. The Foundation also assists the organization of our International Symposia, and works on various activities designed to strengthen links with overseas research institutions.

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