The history of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) dates from April 1944 when it was established at Tokyo Medical and Dental College and led by its first professor, Dr. Yoshio Tano. In December 1946, Dr. Tano was succeeded by Dr. Jin Otsuka, who became a professor at TMDU as it attained university status in the national educational systems reformation of 1949. In his research, Dr. Otsuka focused primarily on mild myopia.
In November 1977, Dr. Takashi Tokoro, who focused on pathologic myopia as an important cause of blindness, became the third professor of the department. In 1974, he had founded the world's first outpatient clinic to specialize in high myopia. Building on the research of senior alumni in myopia and visual function, he brought the TMDU Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science to world's top echelons. In October 1998, he was succeeded by Dr. Manabu Mochizuki as the department's fourth professor. Dr. Mochizuki, who specialized in uveitis, laid the foundation for its treatment at TMDU. In August 2014, I was named as the fifth professor of the department. My areas of specialization are pathologic myopia and vitreoretinal diseases. In this appointment, I am determined to uphold the department tradition of leadership and growth.
In clinical medicine, the department is characterized by the following: 1) its provision of the best medical care in Japan for diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataract, and other disorders that lead to blindness; 2) its unparalleled expertise in the treatment of conditions such as high myopia, refractory uveitis, and macular disease, which attracts both Japanese and international patients; 3) its numerous registered surgeons known for their preeminent techniques in vitreoretinal, glaucoma, and other refractory disease surgeries; and 4) its established record in neuro-ophthalmology, palpebral and lacrimal-duct surgery, and other fields that cannot be handled at most other facilities. We hope to further these capabilities in order to enable provision of the best and most advanced medical care to patients from Japan and around the world.
In research, the department is highly active in joint research with basic research departments as well as international joint research with overseas laboratories and ophthalmological facilities. The findings from our research have been published in The Lancet, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and other leading journals. As ophthalmologists, we endeavor from the perspective of clinical scientists to continue our research for elucidation of pathologies in view of the true nature of the diseases, establishment of new molecular-targeted therapies based on this elucidation, and their utilization in ophthalmological treatment and care.
In education, our essential role under the educational philosophy of TMDU is to nurture the development of many global leaders in ophthalmology marked by an outstanding spirit of innovation in medical care and a deep spirit of humanity, and by a high level of internationally competitive capability. To this end, we will continue in the department traditions of striving to provide fulfilling undergraduate and graduate education, and of encouraging domestic and overseas study at other institutions. We will work for the fullest possible realization and future exercise of the individual's potentials, with consideration of their diversity. The department has established its own original program for personal study and learning, and it has taken the lead in the implementation of a system for utilization of iPads and other devices by both students and residents for this purpose. In addition to these efforts, as the first female professor in clinical medicine at TMDU, I also hope to support the development and success of female doctors.
While furthering the fundamental mission of the university in clinical practice, research, and education, it is my hope to stand united with all at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science in working toward our goal of eradicating blindness, helping patients with visual disorders, and contributing to society, and in furthering its development into a world-leading department in the field. In this effort, I hope and trust in your continuing support and guidance.