Founded in 1949 after several smaller institutions, including Nagasaki Medical College and Nagasaki College of Economics, were amalgamated, Nagasaki University has since grown steadily.
The first university in Japan to teach Western-style medicine, Nagasaki’s first predecessor institution was founded by Dutch naval surgeon J.L.C. Pompe van Meerdervoort, who built the first Western hospital in the country and started delivering lectures to a government scientist and 11 others.
The institution grew and changed name several times in the following decades, but was destroyed by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. As the then-campus was situated less than a kilometre from the bomb’s hypocentre, nearly 1,000 students and staff were killed.
Nagasaki is a hilly city in South West Japan which offers tranquillity, cobbled streets and cove-strewn coastline. One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the country, it is also well-known for its East meets West cuisine and wide range of temples, churches and shrines.
NU’s primary campus today is in Bunkyo-Masi, north of the city centre and main station, and plays host to the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Faculty of Fisheries. Its School of Medicine, School of Dentistry and University Hospital lie in its Sakamoto Campus, while the Faculty of Economics can be found in the Katamuchi campus to the south east.
In 1962, NU established the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute to research the effects of radiation on humans. Today, it examines molecular mechanisms underlying injuries caused by the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs and the other radiation-related incidents in order to develop and enhance treatments.
Alumni of the institution include Takashi Nagai, a physician specialising in radiology who was himself an A-bomb victim; and Osamu Shimomura,the organic chemist and marine biologist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008.