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Nagoya University

Originally established as a temporary hospital and medical school in 1871, Nagoya University (NU) has actively evolved and adapted to meet changing societal needs.  Transformed into Nagoya Imperial University in 1939, then into Nagoya University in 1947, NU is now one of Japan’s National University Corporations, which were established in 2004 to increase the National Universities’ financial and operating autonomy.

World Class Research Activities

Nagoya University has been repeatedly recognized for its world class research activities.

Presented below are just a few of NU's many achievements

Discovery of the origin of the Broken Symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature by Dr. Makoto Kobayashi and Dr. Toshihide Maskawa, Nobel Prize laureates in Physics 2008.

Understanding symmetry, or the lack of it, is an ongoing task in elementary particle physics.  Drs. Kobayashi and Maskawa explained broken symmetry within the framework of the Standard Model of elementary particle physics.  They formulated a model that explained certain symmetry violations.  Their model suggested that the collection of subatomic particles known at the time were insufficient to explain the observed behaviors, and predicted the existence of as yet undiscovered elementary particles.  They hypothesized the existence of a third family of quarks years before their predicted, hypothetical new quarks appeared in physics experiments.

Three Families of Quarkes

Discovery and Development of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) by Dr. Osamu Shimomura, Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry 2008.


While studying a glowing jellyfish, Dr. Shimomura isolated a bioluminescent protein that gave off blue light.  Further studies revealed that the protein’s blue light was absorbed by a second jellyfish protein, later called green fluorescent protein (GFP), which in turn re-emitted green light.  The ability of GFP to process blue light to green was found to be integral to its structure, occurring without the need for any accompanying factors.  By using DNA technology, GFP can now be connected to other interesting, but otherwise invisible proteins.  This glowing marker allows researchers to watch the movements, positions and interactions of targeted proteins.

GFP in Jelly Fish

Asymmetric Synthesis by Professor Ryoji Noyori, Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry 2001.


Organic compounds have two different types whose stereostructures are in a similar relationship as that of the right and left human hands.  A selective synthesis method was established for substances of right hand and left hand systems by using molecular catalysts made from combinations of metals and chiral organic compounds.

Blue Light Emitting Diode by Professor Isamu Akasaki.


High performance Blue LED was produced by using a compound semiconductor GaN (gallium nitride).  The GaN semiconductor is used for illuminant and expected to be used for high-speed, high-output transistors indispensable for the next generation ICT.

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