Drugs have long made a significant contribution to the maintenance and improvement of human health, and today they are regarded as essential in healthcare provision. Pharmaceutical Sciences is an academic field that focuses on discovery and creation of such drugs, together with their appropriate applications. Drug development is based on integration of advanced science and technology. Hence, it is necessary to acquire not only wide-ranging expertise in chemistry, physics, biology and medicine but also an appreciation of the moral and ethical standards required of medical professionals in order for one to contribute to society through pharmaceutical sciences.
The educational and research organization for pharmaceutical sciences at Kyoto University originated in 1939 as the School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Medicine, with organic chemistry and analytical chemistry as core fields of study. Subsequently, such research fields as life sciences and medicine were added in response to societal demand for pharmaceutical sciences, thereby setting up a structural framework as a basis for today’s education in and research on pharmaceutical sciences as an integrated body of relevant scientific fields.
Today, pharmaceutical sciences departments are being required to provide education based on a new concept with the capability of contributing to drug discovery and development, and to medical care in response to rapid advances in the life sciences and recent advances in medicine. As part of efforts to address this demand, the educational system was changed to require students to complete the 6-year course in order to be eligible to take the National Examination for Pharmacists. To address this major change in pharmaceutical sciences education and research, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences restructured itself into two divisions and has been working to develop human resources suitable for the objectives of each division. The aims of the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences (4-year program) are to educate and cultivate human resources who will become drug discovery research scientists and engineers responsible for future drug discovery and development. The objectives of the Division of Pharmacy (6-year program) are to educate and develop human resources who will become leading pharmacists, medical pharmacy research scientists and engineers responsible for advanced medical care. The Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences also set up two divisions, namely the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Division of Bioinformatics and Chemical Genomics, which are committed to providing advanced knowledge in areas related to pharmaceutical sciences and developing research capabilities from a broader perspective on the basis of academic abilities and skills cultivated in the undergraduate program. In addition, the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been working to provide better facilities and improve the environment for education and research, with recent construction of research building and major renovations to the main building. Exemplifying the commitment of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences to providing enhanced education in drug discovery sciences and medical pharmacy is the adoption of distinctive educational and research programs in the fields of drug discovery and medical pharmacy, such as the 21st Century COE Program, an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Pharmaceutical sciences comprise an academic field which will enable one to make social contributions in both advanced science research and medical care. The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, as a place of academic learning, extends an invitation to students who aspire to make contributions to drug discovery and medical care.