The Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC) was founded in 1941 at Tohoku University, with Professor Taizo Kumagai as its first director. Originally established as the Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Leprosy, its purpose was to promote fundamental and applied medical sciences related to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases caused by acid-fast bacilli.
From its inception, the founders of IDAC believed in the importance of international as well as domestic collaborations. Often considered ahead of its time, an early collaboration with the Institut Pasteur de Lille in the early 1950s contributed to the fight against tuberculosis in Japan.
The need to further innovate the institute became apparent as Japan's demographics shifted to an aging population. As a result, in 1993, the establishment was renamed the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer. In 2009, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Science (MEXT) officially recognized IDAC as a Research Center for Aging and Cancer in Japan. As of 2016, the institute has eight divisions with 24 departments, all collaborating together to find ways to maintain a healthy aging society.
IDAC continues to research the basic mechanisms of aging and to control age-related diseases, such as dementia and intractable cancers. Its ultimate goal is to show that smart-aging - the brain's ability to remain active as it matures - is possible. The institute provides medical support in the form of community clinics for brain training, where they also give advice on exercise and nutrition.
To commemorate IDAC's 75th anniversary and to highlight another great milestone in the institute's legacy, its director Dr. Ryuta Kawashima commissioned a new logo to reflect the ideologies of the institute. The logo represents a sundial, which not only symbolizes the passing of time, but reminds us that time constantly moves forward. Thus, IDAC will continue to lead the way in research that will enable the elderly to age with confidence and to continue being active members of society.
Contact:IDAC Public Affairs Office