Message from the Director

Director TSUJII, Yoshinobu
(Professor, Laboratory of Chemistry of Polymer Materials)


 Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) was founded in 1926 as the first research institute of Kyoto University with the founding vision to “Excel in the Investigation of Basic Principles of Chemistry and Their Applications.” It is a successor to the Specialized Center for Chemical Research established at the College of Science of Kyoto Imperial University in 1915 for the study of special medicinal substances called “Salvarsan,” that is arsphenamine. Ever since its establishment in 1926, ICR has continuously produced outstanding research achievements and flourished into a large-scale organization with five research divisions and three research centers: Division of Synthetic Chemistry, Division of Materials Chemistry, Division of Biochemistry, Division of Environmental Chemistry, Division of Multidisciplinary Chemistry, Advanced Research Center for Beam Science, International Research Center for Elements Science (IRCELS), and Bioinformatics Center. Currently, approximately 120 faculty members, 210 graduate students, and 60 researchers are engaged in research activities in 30 dif ferent laboratories directed by full-time professors. Besides the 30 laboratories, we have another 5 laboratories supervised by visiting professors.

 Research fields at ICR encompasses a wide range of scientific disciplines including physics, biology, and informatics besides chemistry. Graduate schools to which our laboratories are affiliated as a “cooperative lab” cover a broad range of research fields: science, engineering, agriculture, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine, and informatics. Our laboratories have been spearheading cutting edge research and yielding startling results for their special fields. The legacy of our founding philosophy continues today and describes the essence of our research activities. With the founding vision in mind, we have entrusted our scientists with the choice of research topics within advanced chemistry-related fields. Whether or not the human race maintains sustainable growth is a key issue of this century.

 ICR members are actively involved in interdisciplinary research projects with bottom-up paradigms in order to create new knowledge and contribute to the future of materials-related fields. In fact, one of our major goals is to create and develop bio-inspired smart materials from the viewpoint of not only academic interests but also a policy, aiming to achieve green innovation and fabricate a sustainable society through “zero loss” or effective reduction of the loads on the environment at the production/usage of materials/energy. To achieve this goal, we have been collaborating with the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere and the Institute of Advanced Energy since 2015 in the MEXT-supported joint research program. We have been also collaborating with both domestic and overseas universities and research institutions (with 70 official international collaboration agreements) and functioning as a Joint Usage/Research Center proclaiming the Frontier and Interdisciplinary Research Core for Deepening Investigation and Promoting Collaboration in Chemistry-oriented Fields supported by MEXT (2nd stage since 2016). In addition, IRCELS at ICR is making a significant contribution to the MEXT project of Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences (IRCCS; 2016-2021) as one of the four core research institutions from Japanese national universities. We also strive to foster and secure young researchers through our unparalleled research programs and graduate education; for instance, in 2012, we restarted an in-house annual grant system named “ICR Grant for Promoting Integrated Research .” These collaborative achievements ensure that ICR serves as a global research core in the chemistry-oriented fields.

 Finally, we appreciate your continued encouragement and support.

April 2018


Our Mission

The founding philosophy of the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) is to “Excel in the Investigation of Basic Principles of Chemistry and Their Applications.” Our research is grounded on the core values of freedom, independence, and harmony. As a key part of Kyoto University, the ICR is committed to contributing to the harmonious development of the global community by solving fundamental chemical issues.


We regard chemistry as a broad area of the natural sciences and strive for balanced development; the platform of basic research into the true nature of matter serves as a foothold for more applied studies. We strive to be flexible and responsive to the challenges of our global society.


Through research in an integrated environment of world-class laboratories, we aim to train and develop talented people with broad experiences, high level of problem-solving skills, and hence highly organized leadership towards the harmonious development of the global community.

Outreach :

As researchers and educators of chemistry, we endeavor to deepen our exchanges with local communities and the Japanese society. We envision contributing to solving global problems through active scientific exchange with international researchers and institutions. Lastly, we commit ourselves to achieve the accountability to society through internal/external reviews and information disclosure.