The Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) at the National Cheng Kung University Medical Center (NCKUMC) was established in 1998 by Professor Ih-Jen Su. Professor Su, now Associate Dean of NCKUMC, envisioned the outstanding challenge in biomedicine in the post-genome era that we must face and the education we must provide to our next generations. Given these specific agenda and goals in mind, this Institute has been keeping a clear focus on basic and integrated translational research, covering problems associated with gene and molecular basis of cancer and infectious diseases. In 2000, 2004 and 2007, Drs. Ting-Tsung Chang, Jiunn-Jong Wu and Christina Chang, respectively, have taken the directorship of IMM. With their great effort in expansion, the total number of faculty has grown to 20. To date, we have trained more than 150 students and published hundreds of articles since 1998. Here, we have and will continue to develop 1) the state-of-the-art research on the molecular pathogenesis and therapy of human diseases (e.g. the endemic or clinically important diseases in southern Taiwan), 2) the power of securing domestic and international research grants, 3) the innovation in our pioneered research projects, and 4) the premier education for our students in their career goals. We are determined to succeed in education and research and to conquer the future challenge.
AIMS OF EDUCATION
To enhance students in developing their career goals, the aims of our education are 1) to motivate students’ interests in biotechnology and integration with molecular medicine and translational research, and 2) to increase their skill in biomedical research and ambition in international competition.
While biomedical science research as well as biomolecular and biotechnology research are active and well established in Taiwan, an integration of basic sciences (molecular biology and biotechnology) with clinical sciences (development of early diagnosis, understanding of disease mechanisms, intervention of disease progress, and therapeutic treatment of diseases) for health benefits are still needed to be developed and promoted.
The IMM is committed to (1) the integration of basic molecular science with applied clinical sciences via translational research, (2) integrated education, and (3) multidisciplinary trainings.
While our educational base is board, our research is focused onto urgent health issues in Taiwan: cancer and infectious diseases. It is also our hope and goal that trainees at IMM are not only aimed to distinguish themselves in Taiwan but will also acquire strong international views and global concepts during their trainings. Both intramural teamwork and extramural networkings (both national and international) will also be strong characteristics of our institution. We believe that IMM will represent not only as an unique educational and research institute in NCKU, it will also be a very much needed institute for the training of second generation of medical researchers for Taiwan.
The curriculum is designed to develop graduate students’ competence in biomedical sciences and to develop critical and innovative thinking in conducting research. The curriculum is organized into Core and Elective Courses. The Core Courses include Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Seminar, and Research. Elective Courses include, among others, Molecular Pathology of Cancer, Angiogenesis, Genomics, Microbial Pathogenesis, and Viral Entry/Assembly/ Budding. In addition to coursework, graduate students conduct research and write theses in order to fulfill the requirement for the Master Program of IMM. The graduate students are expected to achieve three major goals after finishing the graduate courses: (a) to acquire a global view of current biomedical knowledge including clinical medicine, molecular biology and cell biology, (b) to practice the essential biotechnology and methodology, and (c) to complete a scientific thesis.