Since its inception in 1972, the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (TMIG) has been making progressive efforts in resolving concerns of the super-aged society. In 2009, the TMIG was combined with the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital (TMGH) in the same campus to begin a new local incorporated administrative agency. Since 2018, approximately 200 researchers, including 90 full-time employees, part-time employees, and graduate students, are engaged in research activities in TMIG based on the medium-term goals approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.
The first medium-term goal (2009‒2012) was to promote "research to support medicine and care for the elderly," which produced positive results, and received a high evaluation from the Tokyo Metropolitan Local Incorporated Administrative Agency Evaluation Committee and the external evaluation committee affiliated with TMIG.
The second medium-term goal (2013‒2017) was to promote "research aiming to maintain and advance the elderly's health and improve their vitality." Since we moved to our new facilities in 2013, we implemented new research equipment, such as PET-CT and a super-resolution microscope. As a result, we have launched new research agendas, i.e., "the early detection of dementia and the development of a system to train doctors and nurses" and "the development of various biomarkers associated with aging and senile diseases (or geriatric diseases)," which produced positive results.
The third medium-term goal (2018‒2022), which recently started this year, is to promote "research aiming to advance the elderly's healthy life-span and improve their quality of life," wherein we prioritize research on how to overcome geriatric syndromes, such as sarcopenia, frailty, dementia, support the elderly living in residential areas, and establish leadership in gerontology research. In addition, we launched the Healthy Aging Innovation Center to promote translational research, wherein clinical research and basic research are integrated. The clinical research review committee was already approved by the Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare in June 2018.
The strongest point of TMIG is that we have researchers engaged in interdisciplinary research. They have backgrounds in biology, basic medicine, and pharmaceutics, as well as in epidemiology, welfare, nursing care, and social sciences, such as medical economics. We also have a strong support of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and other health professionals in TMGH.
Because we are entering the super-aged society, there are many research agendas to be undertaken by our institute. All are working daily on our research topics using advanced research equipment. We always appreciate your continued instruction, encouragement, and support for TMIG.
Shunei Kyo, M.D., Ph.D.
President of Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital and Institute of Gerontology