Niigata University of Health and Welfare

Doctoral course
Major in Health and Welfare


In this major, we aim is to train human resources capable of consistent multidisciplinary care through health, medical care and welfare. Through the three fields of research mentioned above, we train professionals capable of responding to complicated environmental changes in health, medical care and welfare. As for the students’ career options after the completion of the course, they may continue to be engaged in universities, graduate schools, training institutions, research organizations, or medical institutions. As advanced professionals who share a common view, our graduates will meet the needs of the current time through multidisciplinary care and are expected to play an active role in each field.


Since there are only a small number of doctoral programs in health and welfare in Japan, our students will be able to conduct research that meets the needs of society.
The current situation is that only a few graduate schools have a Ph. D. program in this field and our university is one of them. Particularly in our university, we expect the students to become educators, researchers, highly specialized professionals and policy-makers, and to develop this field of study throughout the whole of society.

Curriculum focused on research and on research theses
The doctoral course is a three-year program, and the curriculum is composed of 10 required credits of which six pertain to research (academic dissertation), and is mainly focused on the writing of theses.
Flexible timetable with a small number of students
Class schedules can be determined according to the convenience of the students and the professors who attend the course; therefore, students can also take the classes from a remote location. Because classes are given in the evenings or on Saturdays, students can also work during their period of study. In the case of foreign students from overseas, they can consult with the professors and conduct research that involves both their home country and Japan, and write a thesis.
Professors from various academic disciplines providing support for research
Our graduate school has specialists who play an active role in multiple areas of specialties involved in health and welfare. Therefore, various subjects are instructed with full support of professionals from medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, nursing, sport science, prosthetics & orthotics and assistive technology, welfare equipment technology, biomechanics, engineering, and social works.

Doctoral Degree

Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc)

Teaching Staff

Masaharu Yamamoto / Professor / M. D., M. P. H., Ph. D.
Preventive medicine and public health

Yoshihiro Ehara / Professor / Ph. D.
Biomechanics, Motion analysis, Gait analysis, Muscular-skeletal simulation, Mechanical energy calculation, Human body balance analysis, Sports biomechanics, Prosthetic and orthotic gait analysis, Shoes analysis, Motion capture

Hideaki Onishi / Professor / Ph. D.
Sensorimotor integration in the human sensorimotor cortex -MEG and EEG study, Induction of plasticity in the human motor cortex -TMS and tDCS study, Human motor cortex oxygenation during exercise -NIRS study

Yasuko Tsukamoto / Professor / Ph. D.
Midwifery and women’s health, Study of decision-making in the medical care, Study of health support programs

Mineo Oyama / Professor / Ph. D. (Chair)
Biomechanical study in neuromuscular function of the upper extremity, Brain research using somatosensory evoked magnetic fields

Ryosaku Kobayashi / Professor / Ph. D.
Fall prevention in the elderly at home, Cohort study of physical functions in community-dwelling elderly, Management of neuromuscular disorders in physical therapy

Masayoshi Kubo / Professor / Sc. D.
Motor learning, Kinesiology, Research methods, Understanding of human movement control / learning using biomechanical methods, Time series analysis of standing balance, Kinematic analysis of knee in motion using the point cluster method

Takashi Nara / Professor / Ph. D.
Human evolution, Osteology

Naritoshi Sato / Professor / Ph. D.
Low back pain, Effects of age-related spinal alignment and core stabilizing muscles, Myotuning approach for patients with muscular dysfunction

Hiroyuki Tamaki / Professor / Ph. D.
Regulation of bone remodeling by the central and peripheral nervous system, Musculoskeletal and neural interactions altered by exercise training, Functional significance of physiological tremor enhanced by muscle fatigue

Atsuhiro Tsubaki / Professor / Ph. D.
Cortical oxygenation during gross motor tasks, Exercise effects for cognitive function, Cardiovascular and respiratory responses to exercise, Physical functions and physical activity in internal disorder, Age-related changes in physical functions

Toru Taguchi / Professor / Ph. D.
Pain physiology, pathology and therapy, Peripheral and spinal mechanisms of myofascial pain and fibromyalgia, Cellular and molecular mechanisms of mechanical hyperalgesia

Junmei Sawada / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Bioarchaeology of prehistoric East Asia, Histomorphological analysis of osteo-remains from archaeological contexts, Anthropology, Osteoarchaeology, Zooarchaeology

Mutsuaki Edama / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Gross anatomy, Functional anatomy, Twisted structure of the human Achilles tendon, Knee and ankle function of female athlete during the menstrual cycle

Shinichi Noto / Professor / Ph. D.
Neuropsychology, Clinical economics, Intervention for unilateral spatial neglect and apraxia, Assessment of utilities used by the health utilities index and the EQ-5D, Cost-effectiveness analysis of rehabilitation

Katsuro Sato / Professor / M. D. Ph. D.
Otolaryngology, Middle ear infectious disease, Head and neck tumor, Logopedics and phoniatrics

Toru Imamura / Professor / M. D., Ph. D.
Behavioral neurology, Clinical neuropsychology, Executive dysfunction in dementia, Diagnosis and management of dementia with Lewy bodies

Nobuyuki Imai / Professor / Ph. D.
The analysis of the mechanism in mastication and swallowing, The development of the new treatment and rehabilitation for dysphagia, The relationship of oral health care and oral function, The relationship of oral function and systemic function

Yutaka Yoshioka / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Language acquisition in typically developmental children, Language acquisition in developmentally challenged children, Audiology

Kaoru Abe / Professor / Ph. D.
Practice of shoes human science, Shoes adjustment science, Development and evaluation of functional arch support (shoe insole) and footwear, Lower extremities orthosis for hemiplegia, Foot pressure (F-scan) analysis

Akira Magara / Professor / M. D., Ph. D.
Collaborative science in health and welfare, Rehabilitation for spinal cord injury, Database for spinal cord injury, Complication of spinal cord injury, Rehabilitation for cerebral vascular accident, Inter-professional education (IPE), Virtual case module database for IPE

Junji Katsuhira / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Biomechanics, Motion analysis, Ergonomics, Kinesiology, Evaluation and development of assistive devices

Daisuke Nagahama / Professor / Ph. D.
Clinical examination general remarks, Clinical cytology, Safety management of medical technology, Safety management and quality of clinical laboratory, Urinary system diseases and clinical laboratory diagnosis

Hiromi Inaba / Associate Professor / Ph. D., RD
Nutritional education for athlete, Study on the excessive desire for leanness

Kenichi Shibuya / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Exercise physiology, especially on neural control for movements, Psychophysics concerning human cognition/perception

Yasuyuki Nishihara / Professor / Ph. D.
Embodied knowledge, Human resource management, What does “the ability of sport management professionals” mean?, What is the ability of a PE teacher?, What is the ability of an athlete? What abilities should a head coach have?, Cognitive science, Embodied knowledge, Training for Meister

Go Omori / Professor / M. D., Ph. D.
Orthopaedic surgery (knee surgery and sports medicine), Epidemiology and pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis, Motion and alignment analysis of the knee joint, Pain analysis before and after total knee arthroplasty, Epidemiology and prevention of fracture in childhood

Haruo Hanawa / Professor / M. D., Ph. D.

Yoshimitsu Shimoyama / Professor / Ph. D.
Coaching of swimming, The methods of evaluating swimming performance

Daisuke Sato / Professor / Ph. D.
The plasticity induction and motor learning, Sensorimotor integration in human brain during water immersion, The effects of exercise on physical and cognitive function

Toshifumi Watanabe / Professor / Ph. D.
Social work, Community-based welfare

Toyoharu Yokoyama / Professor / Ph. D.
Social work, Study of social work education, Study of the lifelong training of social workers, Study of the formative processes of social workers, Study of the clarification of the social worker image

Akira Suzuki / Professor / Ph. D.
Child welfare and family services, Social work with disabled people, Generalist social work practice, Community psychology

Kyosuke Matsumoto / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Principle of clinical psychology, Clinical psychology

Toru Takiguchi / Professor / Ph. D.
Epidemiology, Social research method & Health statistics, medical management, medical jurisprudence, Regional clustering analyses among prefecture in Japan using Moran’s I and LISA of medical and dental professionals such as doctor, dentist, nurse, etc., Hybrid type of analyses of questionnaire of freedom described using both qualitative analyses method such as KH Coder and quantitative analyses such as Cochran-Armitage trend analyses or multiple logistic regression analyses, Long-term cohort analyses comparing of lifespan between high-tooth-loss group and low-tooth-loss group in Miyakojima Islands belonging to Okinawa Prefecture, Before and after epidemiological study on causes of deficiencies of sense of taste of Sri Lankan elderly staying at nursing home for the aged, Needs and demand of dental treatments of residents evacuated from the Great Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami disaster in March, 2011

Masaki Nishio / Professor / Ph. D.
Development of effective techniques relating to dysarthria and dysphagia

Kazuo Ishigami / Professor / D. D. S., Ph. D.
Public health, Physiology, Social research method & health statistics, Community differences of lifestyle-related-diseases in Niigata prefecture, Time series analysis of social causes of suicide in Japan, Intervention study of the community program for preventing aggravation of long-term-care need

Kenji Suzuki / Professor / M. D. Ph. D.