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Dr Ryuta Kawashima

Dr Ryuta Kawashima

Director, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Tohoku University
Neuroscientist, Executive Director, Smart-Aging Research Center (S.A.R.C.)

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About this Speaker

Dr. Ryuta Kawashima is a CTO of NeU Corporation from 2017, as well as a Director of Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Tohoku University from 2014, and a Director of Smart Aging Research Center, Tohoku University from 2017. Throughout the years, Dr. Kawashima studied at Tohoku University School of Medicine, and the Graduate School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. He also spent some time in Sweden as a guest researcher at the famed Karolinska Institute. He has won the Prizes for Science and Technology, The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2009. His scientific output includes over 400 peer reviewed papers and the 300 books.


He has established the new joint-venture company, NeU, with Hitachi-Tech Corp in 2017. Based on the fundamental knowledge accumulated through the brain science researches in many years, and the advanced technology for measuring people’s brain activity in the daily life environment, NeU is going to develop various Applied Brain Science Solutions in the various fields.


He has succeeded in developing and spreading the use of a new system to improve the cognitive function of senior citizens suffering from senile dementia as well as healthy people by top-down application of the findings of basic research involving functional brain imaging. The system to improve the cognitive function of dementia patients, called “learning therapy,” is used for the care of more than 143,200 and 2,700 such patients in Japan and USA, respectively (as of the end of 2015). The Social Return On Investment of this system has been estimated as more than 1.70 (Social Impact Bond Japan 2016). The system has also been proven to be effective in preventing dementia, and is utilized for the welfare of more than 54,800 senior citizens in Japan.


Through industry-university cooperative R&D which considered brain function imaging techniques as the seeds, he succeeded in developing a new category of industry with the concept of “train your brain,” and created educational, publishing, IT, and entertainment industries to improve brain function. According to an estimate by a private think tank (Yano Research Institute), it is estimated that a new market worth 23 billion yen was created in 2006. For these activities, he was ranked in the Top 50 Innovators in New Media for 2006 (by Producers Guild of America New Media Council) and awarded a grand prize in the annual Buzzwords Contest and the Trend Award.

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