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History

The Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry as it exists today was formed in 1993, when chemistry-related studies in the Kyoto University Faculty of Engineering underwent reorganization. A greater emphasis was given to graduate studies by the addition of a new full-time course (Biological Functional Engineering) to a department with two large courses (Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry), offering core sub-courses in eight fields of specialization. This earlier department consisted of five courses run by the former School of Synthetic Chemistry, and one course run by each of the Department of Industrial Chemistry, the Department of Polymer Chemistry, and the Department of Chemical Engineering. The department was founded for the purpose of pursuing the fundamental science and applications of synthetic chemistry and the theory of biotechnology and materials conversion, in order to establish an interdisciplinary field of research spanning synthetic and biological chemistry.

The former School of Synthetic Chemistry, which is the basis of this department, was established in 1960 from two courses run by the former Department of Industrial Chemistry with the aim of training pioneering researchers and technologists in the field of chemical engineering to pursue original research in synthetic chemistry and fuel chemistry. Four years later, in 1964, the school was restructured with six courses--Organic Synthesis, Polymerization Chemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, Catalytic Organic Chemistry, and Synthetic Free Radical Chemistry.

Of these six courses, the Organic Synthesis course became the Organic Synthesis field (Synthetic Chemistry Course); the Physical Organic Chemistry course became the Quantum Physical Chemistry field and later the Physical Organic Chemistry field (Synthetic Chemistry Course); the Organometallic Chemistry course became the Organometallic Chemistry field (Synthetic Chemistry Course); the Catalytic Organic Chemistry course became the Biofunctional Chemistry field and later (1998) the Functional Coordination Chemistry field (Synthetic Chemistry Course); and the Synthetis Free Radical Chemistry course became the Bioorganic Chemistry field (Biological Chemistry Course).

The former School of Industrial Chemistry originates from the Department of Manufacturing Chemistry of the Kyoto Science and Engineering University, established in 1897. In 1914, when the university was split into two parts--the University of Science and the University of Engineering--the Department of Manufacturing Chemistry became the Department of Industrial Chemistry of the university of engineering.

The education and research of the School of Industrial Chemistry were progressively improved according to needs and demands of the times, and over the years new schools were born--in 1939, the Department of Fuel Chemistry (later the Department of Hydrocarbon Chemistry); in 1940, the Department of Chemical Machinery (later the Department of Chemical Engineering); in 1941, the Department of Textile Chemistry (later the Department of Polymer Chemistry); and then after the war, in 1960, the Department of Synthetic Chemistry.

With the establishment of the Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry in 1993, the Industrial Biochemistry course of the Department of Industrial Chemistry became the Applied Biochemistry field and then later (in 2003) the Molecular Biology field (Biological Chemistry Course); the Polymer Material Chemistry course of the Department of Polymer Chemistry became the Biopolymer Chemistry field and then later (in 2001) the Biorecognics field (Biological Chemistry Course); and the Biochemical Engineering course of the Department of Chemical Engineering became the Biochemical Engineering field (Biological Chemistry Course).