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Tonegawa Rethinks Japan's Premier Brain Research Center

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Science  16 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5951, pp. 352
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_352

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This April, Nobelist Susumu Tonegawa became director of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) near Tokyo, a part-time arrangement that allows him to maintain his lab at MIT. BSI was established in 1997 and now has more than 50 principal investigators and a $100 million annual budget. Considered Japan's flagship neuroscience institute, BSI is "pretty good," Tonegawa says, but it doesn't match the reputation and productivity of top U.S. and European neuroscience centers. Tonegawa spoke with Science earlier this month about how he intends to raise BSI's game while coping with what he views as an inevitable downsizing.