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HOME > english > About MUIIBR


MICBRMUIIBR(Meiji University International Institute for Bio-Resource Research)is a research institute engaged in the creation, maintenance and utilization of biological resources that will contribute to the advancement of translational research, transmitting knowledge and technologies developed through fundamental research in a variety of areas, ranging across orthopedics, organ transplantation (in particular xenotransplantation), organ regeneration, and reproductive medicine, to clinical medicine. Putting the pathological and anatomical similarities that pigs have with humans to use, MUIIBR pursues original and practical results through translational research with pigs as a platform.

Research undertakings

Requirements of the medical community for pre-clinical research conducted using animals with strong physiological and anatomical similarities to humans

  • The consensus in the medical world is that translating the results of high-level basic research to clinical use calls for pre-clinical research conducted using pigs, which are physically larger and have several physiological and anatomical similarities with humans, rather than smaller laboratory animals such as rodents as has previously been the practice.

Organ donor shortage

  • With the serious decline in the number of donors of organs for transplantation and the current situation where “transplant tourism” (traveling overseas for the purpose of receiving a transplant) is restrained by the WHO Guiding Principles, there is a pressing need for organ and tissue regeneration and xenotransplantation. There are increasingly high expectations held for research on the use of the organs and tissues of genetically engineered pigs with genetic or other modifications for transplantation, and on the regeneration of human organs using pigs as the bio-scaffold.

Increase in the number of diabetes patients

  • Diabetes, the most common of all the lifestyle-related diseases, causes diabetic nephropathy to develop, leading to an increase in the number of patients requiring dialysis. Currently there are 270,000 patients in Japan requiring dialysis, with the number of new patients growing by 10,000 every year, at a cost to the public health system of 1 trillion yen ($11 billion).

   → organ transplant; organ regeneration

Effects of Osteoarthritis (OA) on ADL and QOL

  • Many (7-10 million) of the 25. 6 million Japanese over 65 years of age suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative arthritis, which greatly diminishes sufferers’ activities of daily living (ADL) and quality of life (QOL). There is a strong demand for remedies to restore the ADL and QOL to a high level.

   → regenerative and medical engineering

30% of cat deaths are due to renal failure

  • It is said that there are more than 24 million dogs and cats kept as companion animals in Japan. Renal failure is the cause of 30 percent of cat deaths. Introducing therapy based on regenerative medicine to cure disease in these much sought-after companion animals will be a trial for applying the therapy to humans.

Success rate and safety of in vitro fertilization (IVF)

  • Every year some 20,000 IVF babies are born in Japan, making the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of assisted reproductive technology a long-term undertaking

MUIIBR’s research and technological capabilities

Japan’s only organization to create an α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene knockout pig
→ overcoming transplant rejection

Creation of the world’s first pig carrying fluorescent protein Kusabira Orange genes
→ cell and tissue transplantation verification

Creation of the world’s first pig carrying mutated human hepatocyte nuclear factor 1αgenes
→ diabetes treatment research model

Creation of the world’s first 6th-generation cloned pig
→ world’s leading cloning technology

World leading cell, embryo and tissue cryopreservation technology
→ reproductive technology development; freezing and preserving embryos of the Tokyo-X pig

  • Trailblazing research leading to unparalleled successes—including red fluorescent pigs, diabetes model pigs, pigs genetically modified for organ transplantation, and apancreatic pigs currently being developed—has produced pigs which are invaluable research resources for sharing with the world’s researchers. Our innovative technology systems allow us to replicate these resources by cloning, or to preserve reproductive cells semi-permanently using cryopreservation technology.


MUIIBR’s Goals

Elimination of donor shortage issues by transplanting tissues and organs from genetically modified cloned pigs (xenotransplantation).

Organ regeneration using genetically modified pigs as bio-scaffolding

Development of diabetes treatments using disease model pigs

Development and assessment of regenerative medicine in osteoarthritis treatment

Utilization of pig organs in regenerative treatment for feline renal failure

  • Feline renal failure treatment tissue regeneration project

Safety verification and technological improvements in IVF and other reproductive medicine

Research period

  • 2009 – 2013

Core organization within Meiji University

Applied Developmental Engineering Institute, Meiji University
Institute of Reproduction and Endocrinology, Meiji University
Advanced Biomedical Materials Creation Institute, Meiji University

Important collaborators outside Meiji University

Eiji Kobayashi, Jichi Medical University; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc.
Shuji Miyagawa, Osaka University Graduate School
Takashi Yokoo, Jikei University School of Medicine
Masato Sato, Tokai University School of Medicine

Partner research institutes

Satomi Iwai, Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine
Morio Matsumoto & Ken Ishii, Keio University School of Medicine
Masafumi Goto, Institute for International Advanced Interdisciplinary Research, International Advanced Research and Education Organization, Tohoku University
University of Munich (LMU Munich) (Germany)
Yunnan Agricultural University (China)
Soochow University (China)
National Swine Resource and Research Center (NSRRC) (USA)
Seoul University (Korea)
Kato Ladies Clinic
Tokyo Metropolitan Agriculture and Forestry Research Center
Showa Spinal Implants and Instruments, Inc.


regenerative medicine
organ transplantation
reproductive medicine
genetic engineering
fertility treatment
diabetic nephropathy
iPS cell
kidney transplantation