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Research at the School of Medicine

The research activities are divided into 14 units in the basic sciences and 79 units in the clinical sciences. The research achievements have been high in a wide range of fields.

Research in the School of Medicine is conducted in 14 departments of basic medicine and in 79 departments of clinical medicine. The areas of research in the basic departments are wide ranging from morphology and function to social medicine, and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods are currently being researched in the clinical departments An example of research in the basic departments. One important field of basic research is the nervous system. The main method used to be electro-physiological recording of the neuronal action potentials. However, in the current century, a new method of visually recording neuronal activity using dye that is sensitive to membrane potentials was developed. This allows visualization of the neuronal activity within a slice or a block of living brain preparation. The macroscopic observation of the neuronal activity has good temporal and spatial resolution (Fig. 1). The figure shows localization of the respiratory neuronal activity in the medulla. This is where the respiratory rhythm starts.

An example of research in the clinical departments despite the advances in diagnosis and treatment, cancer still causes severe morbidity and mortality today. Early diagnosis is very important. At Showa University, a new technique for such early diagnosis was developed. It is an endoscopic technique of diagnosing indentation-type early-stage colon cancer, which is said to be "phantom cancer" as it is hardly found (Fig. 2). This early cancer, although it is small, rapidly spreads vertically, and thus is the most critical type of early colon cancer.

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