Nagasaki University was founded in 1949 following a merger of several smaller institutions.
The first university in Japan to teach Western-style medicine, Nagasaki University’s earliest predecessor institution - known as Medial Training Institute, and then Nagasaki Medical College - was founded in 1857. Its first professor, Dutch naval surgeon J.L.C. Pompe van Meerdervoort, built the first Western hospital in the country. Nagasaki College of Economics - another predecessor college - was founded in 1905 as Nagasaki Higher Commercial School, and it aimed to educate students so that they could engage in business with China, Korea and Southeast Asia.
The university was heavily damaged by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, and it is thought that about 800 staff and students lost their lives.
Nagasaki is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Japan, 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. It houses 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.