Department of Research Infrastructure Division of Biobank

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Profile of the Division of Biobank

In light of the rapid progress in analysis technology at the genomic level, the Division of Biobank strives to strengthen the foundation of genome analysis while encouraging R&D to clarify how genetic and environmental factors relate to specific diseases and promote clinical applications of the findings with the aim of swiftly returning to the public the benefits of the clarification.

Specifically, while working to establish a biobank for specimens of diseases and healthy donors, the department analyzes such data as genome analysis information and clinical information to identify and verify the genes related to the onset of diseases and drug responsiveness and to identify the standard genome sequence of Japanese people. In addition, through collaborative and ancillary genome research, the department not only aims to track down the causal genes of rare/intractable diseases, but also to contribute to the formulation of innovative diagnostic/treatment guidelines based on genome information. Furthermore, the department is pushing forward experimental/empirical clinical research to strengthen the research foundation and establish a system for offering genomic medical care toward the goal of turning genomic medicine into reality.

Through these initiatives, the department aims to achieve the following by 2020.

  • To find evidence associated with risk prediction/prevention, diagnosis (stratification), treatment, and drug selection/optimization for diabetes and other diseases
  • To commence clinical research associated with predictive cancer diagnostics and treatment responses to anticancer and other drugs, and prediction of their side effects
  • To commence clinical research associated with genomic medicine in the fields of dementia and sensory systems
  • To commence clinical research associated with innovative methods of diagnosis and treatment for intractable neuromuscular diseases

Under AMED's Japan Genomic Medicine Project, the Data-sharing Policy for the Realization of Genomic Medicine was formulated to clarify the policy to be followed with respect to the sharing of genome information with the aim of promoting data sharing in related fields.

Furthermore, under the National BioResource Project, bioresources such as experimental animals, plants and micro-organisms that are of fundamental importance in life science research and critical for the nation to strategically organize are systematically collected, preserved and provided. In addition, with the aim of enhancing the quality of bioresources, efforts are made to secure bioresources that meet the needs of the time by developing preservation technologies and adding more value to them by way of genome analysis.

Data sharing Policy for the Realization of Genomic Medicine

Under the Japan Genomic Medicine Project, which is one of AMED's nine interrelated areas, the Data sharing Policy for the Realization of Genomic Medicine was formulated, making data sharing obligatory as a general rule. With the objective of practicing prompt, extensive and appropriate disclosure and sharing of genome data associated with research outcomes and genome information including clinical information and analysis/interpretation results, the Policy defines a framework for protecting the rights of research participants and researchers who provided the data and information, while, at the same time, facilitating research in related fields through data sharing.

GEM Japan

The GEM Japan (GEnome Medicine Alliance Japan), whose purpose is to integrate the results of AMED projects toward the realization of genomic medicine in Japan, was designated as a GA4GH Driver Project.