Research Institute of Environmental Medicine was established in March 1946 being transformed from the former Institute of Aviation Medicine of Nagoya Imperial University. We celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute in 1996.During this half a century with the Second World War, the Institute underwent many changes. The Institute started with four departments in 1946. Two additional departments were established in 1956 and 1967, respectively. In 1991, the Institute was reorganized. The former six departments and a new additional department were rearranged into three divisions, namely, I. Molecular and Cellular Adaptation, II. Regulation of Organ Function, III. Higher Nervous Control. Furthermore, Space Medicine Research Center was newly established.

The environment of human life has changed dramatically during the past half century, and the change is now accelerating. Our ecological problems are therefore becoming more and more complex and serious. Air pollution, ozonosphere destruction, climate variation, and toxic chemicals including those with endocrine disrupting actions are remarkable examples. We can also recognize fundamental changes of our community resulting from revolutionary progress in traffic and communication technology. Moreover, an international satellite station for long-term space life is already under construction. Unraveling the biological medical conditions for human health and survival under such challenging conditions is now a prime research subject for scientists.

The principal aim of our institute is "to clarify the mechanisms of human adaptation to such rapidly changing and newly explored living environments". We approach to this theme from three major standpoints; genomic regulation, cardiovascular regulation and neural regulation via experimental studies at the molecular to the organismic level. In addition, active collaboration with other institutes in Japan as well as those abroad are under way by using our sophisticated systems for human experiments in order to simulate specific environments (hypobaric and low temperature chamber, water immersion chamber to mimic microgravity and lower body negative/positive pressure system).

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