TBRI’s mission is to study, cure and prevent cancer and chronic debilitating diseases; community health education plays an integral role in prevention efforts.
TBRI, originally known as Showa University Research Institute, was founded in 1981 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The co-founders, Dr. Akiko Tanaka and the late Dr. Meihan Nonoyama, were impressed with the beauty, climate and growth of the Tampa Bay area, as well as with its numerous educational and health care facilities. At that time, the co-founders were engaged in research funded by the federal government.
Officials in Pinellas County made available a 120-year lease for land in the Gateway area of St. Petersburg, where the Institute is now located. Drs. Tanaka and Nonoyama designed a state of the art 33,000 square foot facility, and in 1983 it was dedicated and began operations with a staff of fifteen. From its inception, TBRI has embodied the spirit of cooperation between two countries, the U.S. and Japan, as well as the melding of Western and Eastern healing traditions in its approach to biomedical research.