“Heat stroke” outbreaks have been rapidly increasing since around 2010. These outbreaks have been caused by sustained heat stress loads due to global warming and the heat island phenomena and have become a serious social problem in not only the Kanto region but also various regions all over Japan. Therefore, countermeasures against the fierce heat for athletes, officials, and spectators (including foreign visitors) at the summer 2020 Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics are now being debated as an important national issue.
In response to these serious, urgent heat stress problems, the Research Center for Biomedical Engineering, a new research institution established in 2016, has been working with the collective wisdom of experts in the fields of molecular biology, cellular biology, animal physiology, brain and neuroscience, cardiovascular physiology, thermofluid engineering, ergonomics, and food science to conduct heat stress coping research based on scientific grounds.
At this research center, the heat stress that organisms undergo is analyzed in a multi-hierarchal way, from the genetic and cellular level up to individual animals and human beings. These research outcomes are applied to the development of minimally invasive devices for the prediction and detection of heatstroke and drinking water that includes a nutrient for the prevention of heat stroke. These research outcomes are contributing to society by being implemented through industry–government–academia cooperation, regional contribution, and international cooperation.