Research and Education Graduate Degree Programs / Master's Program of Life Sciences

Fields of Studies

Molecular Life Sciences

Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
Total synthesis of biologically active natural products with developing novel and useful synthetic methods. Development of biologically active compounds aimed at drug discovery.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience and Neurology
Research members
Research theme
We are studying (1) why oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells are myelinating neuonal axons (2) how oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells are myelinating neuonal axons (3) then, how such mature neurons are storing external or internal information, leading to organized memory in cells and barin (4) why demyelinating or hypomyelinating diseases occur (5) how demyelinating or hypomyelinating diseases occur (6) how demyelinating or hypomyelinating diseases are reversed and (7) then, what is a promising target allowing precursor/stem cells usually live like young ones. Refs. Science Advances (2018), Nature Communications (2016), Science Signaling (2013), Science Signaling (2012).

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Bioanalytical and Environmental Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
The aim of our laboratory is to develop new measurement techniques and systems for bioanalysis and medical diagnosis.
All living organisms are composed of a large number and wide range of bio-molecules that act in concert. Therefore, it is very important to sensitively detect such bio-molecules and to elucidate functions and interactions of such bio-molecules. Our research group focuses on the development of comprehensive genome-wide multicomponent analysis. Recently, single-cell analysis is becoming more important as even so-called “homogeneous” cell populations have shown significant cell-to-cell heterogeneity. Thus, our research interest is also focused on the development of single cell trapping and handling devices for further understanding of living organisms.

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Laboratory of Bioinformatics
Research members
Research theme
The main topic of our laboratory is to study protein structures based on bioinformatics and computational chemistry. We are particularly interested in: (1) structural analyses of proteins with pharmaceutical or medical concern by SAXS (Small Angle X-ray Scattering), (2) rational drug design in silico, and (3) development of a novel approach to 3D structure of proteins and their interaction with ligands based on topological mathematics.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Chemical Biology
Research members
Research theme

We are developing methods and tools useful for biological research, discovering biologically active substances and elucidating the mechanism of action, by using methods of organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics.

  1. Studies on the mechanism of anti-aging effects of procyanidins in C. elegans.
  2. Studies on biological roles of proteolytic systems.
  3. Development of fluorescent probes for redox biology and drug discovery research.
  4. Search for plant-derived bioactive substances and drug seeds: Screening of plant-derived natural substances using cultured cells and study of their mechanism of action.

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Laboratory of Cell Signaling
Research members
Research theme
Many proteins are modified after translation. Functional conversion of proteins by posttranslational modifications regulates various life phenomena, while its abnormalities cause diverse diseases such as cancer. In our laboratory, we aim to elucidate physiological functions of post-translational modifications on lysine residues including acylation and their relationships with diseases. We also aim at drug discovery by chemical screening that target post-translational modifications related to diseases.

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Computational Biophysics Laboratory
Research members
Research theme

Using computer simulation, we study the following topics of biophysics.

  1. Simulation of biomolecules including proteins and peptides
  2. Calculations of mathematical models related to the motility of bacteria and the dynamics of membrane.
  3. Simulation of softmatter which are useful to bioscience.
  4. Structure discovery for drug with machine learning in virtual library

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Language Science
Research members
Research theme
Linguistics, Language pedagogy, Sociolinguistics, Corpus linguistics, Language learning software, Language learning strategies, Computer assisted learning.

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Laboratory of Teacher Certification program
Research members
Research theme

The purpose is to provide students with knowledge and experience related to theories and practice of school science education.

  • the awareness of pedagogy:fundamental theories of pedagogy.
  • education processes and instruction methods.
  • student instruction,education consultation and career guidance.

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Applied Life Sciences

Laboratory of Bioengineering
Research members
Research theme
Toward understanding the elaborate design of life and its design principle, we are conducting research on the engineering of human artificial chromosomes that enable to manipulate huge DNA segments as well as the possibility of existence of life in outer space. Furthermore, we aim to utilize the knowledge in basic science to develop new technologies that contribute to the creation of new biopharmaceuticals and the development of regenerative medicine

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Laboratory of Food Science and Technology
Research members
Research theme
Foods are one of indispensable factors for maintaining life of living organisms. Qualities or purposes of foods depend on the characteristics of the food materials. One of our research topics are to modify the characteristics of food proteins by using crosslinking enzymes, such as transglutaminases and polyphenol oxidases, aiming to obtain valuable materials and elucidate the mechanisms of the alteration. Other topics are isolation and characterization of natural budding yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce new types of fermented foods, exploring molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of divergent morphologies in crustaceans including the water flea Daphnia magna, and studying monitoring technologies of environment, e.g. content of oxygen, chemical materials in water, for living organisms as potential food materials.

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Laboratory of Plant Science
Research members
Research theme

Every organism on earth lives under various kinds of environmental stress. We investigate the mechanisms of adaptation of plants, mainly microalgae, to stress, using physiological, biochemical, and molecular biological techniques. The research covers the microenvironment of functional proteins in the cells and the phylogeny of microalgae. The following research projects are being conducted at present.

  1. The effects of environmental stress on CO2 fixation (photosynthesis and calcification) in microalgae
  2. The mechanism of storage glucan synthesis and its evolution
  3. The mechanism of calcification
  4. The regulatory metabolism of membrane and storage lipids
  5. The biotechnology of CO2 fixation in microalgae

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Laboratory of Environmental Molecular Physiology
Research members
Research theme

The activities of more than 7 billion people on earth have made a huge impacton the global and local environment, resulting in physical and chemical stress toliving organisms. Our laboratory has focused on exploring the molecularmechanism by which metazoa, mammals and molluscs in particular, respond tothese environmental stresses.

  1. Regulation of gene expression in stress-response processes of mammalian cells.
  2. Physiological roles of stress responsive transcription factor.
  3. Ecotoxicological effects of environmental contaminants on marine molluscs.

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Laboratory of Applied Ecology
Research members
Research theme
Terrestrial plants play an important role in supporting various matters in our lives and global environment. Our lab specializes in understanding physiological mechanisms of responses of respiration and photosynthesis of terrestrial plants to fluctuating environments. We utilize various ecophysiological methods and techniques in order to clarify underlying mechanisms of diverse plants such as model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana and rice, endangered plants and medical plants. Additionally, our research spans a range of scales from cellular to leaf levels, and instantaneous (millisecond order) to seasonal levels.

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Laboratory of Bioenergy Science and Technology
Research members
Research theme
The main theme of our laboratory is "sustainable biotechnology", which seeks to utilize the power of living organisms for sustainable development of the human society. A particular focus is placed on microbes that have tremendous, albeit yet well-exploited, metabolic potentials and are expected to be used to solve our problems associated with energy and environmental crises. Using the power of microbes, our laboratory is trying to develop technologies to utilize biomass, in particular, waste biomass, for supplying energy that support our daily life and producing valued chemicals that are used in a variety of industries.

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Medical Sciences

Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology
Research members
Research theme

Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-enclosed organelles that play an important role in cell growth and differentiation. Organelle communication is mediated directly by membrane contacts and indirectly via transport vesicles that transit between organelles. Cytoskeleton regulates organelle movement and the organization of membrane contact sites. We focus on mammalian cells and try to understand the following cellular events.

  1. The interrelationship between the endoplasmic reticulum and other organelles, including mitochondria, the Golgi apparatus, and lipid droplets.
  2. How does Legionella pneumophila hijack the mammalian endomembrane system during infection?
  3. How is the membrane transport system used for the formation of invadopodia required for cancer cell invasion?

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Laboratory of Genome and Biosignals
Research members
Research theme
Although several drugs targeting specific molecules have been developed and are used clinically for various cancer treatment, the clinical outcome of patients with metastasis is still poor. We therefore focus on the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression such as colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, or melanoma to develop more effective drugs, using cancer cell lines, gene deficient mice, and human clinical specimens. We also push forward the search of new drug discovery seeds, using chemical library or existing drug library. Recently we also focus on the development of nucleic acid drugs, a new drug category.

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Laboratory of Regenerative medicine
Research members
Research theme
The development of technology to generate "organs" is extremely useful not only for the treatment of diseases but also for basic science. However, the generation of the human organ has not yet been achieved. We use human iPS cells, make full use of the newest technologies such as genome editing, interspecies chimeric animals, and organoids, and by understanding the developmental principles of humans, we aim to develop the technology for the generation of human organs and apply it to disease treatment and basic science.

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Laboratory of Stem Cell Regulation
Research members
Research theme
Stem cells, equipped with the ability to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types, exist in various tissues and maintain host homeostasis via supplying specialized cells on demand throughout life. Blood vessels and lymphatics are critical for rapid delivery of cellular and humoral components to the entire body. We are investigating the dynamic functions and regulation of stem cell system and circulation system under physiological and various pathological conditions including cancers and inflammations. The aim of our research is to discover the fundamental principles which governs homeostasis or pathogenesis, and eventually to develop novel therapeutic/prophylactic strategies.

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Laboratory of Oncology
Research members
Research theme
Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms of hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), especially with a specific focus on the role of the RUNX1 mutation in MDS. MDS are a heterogeneous group of myeloid disorders characterized by cytopenias and increased risk of AML transformation. Only a few drugs are currently available for treatment. We utilize the gene analysis of the patient samples and the mouse models to understand the role of the gene alterations to the pathogenesis of MDS. The goal of our studies is to provide novel therapies to patients with MDS.

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Laboratory of Immune Regulation
Research members
Research theme
Macrophages and dendritic cells recognize not only microorganisms from outside of the body, but also dying self-cells to eliminate them by engulfment. This clearance prevents the release of potentially harmful or immunogenic intracellular materials from dying cells. Our laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms for recognition and phagocytosis of dying cells by phagocytes, and the pathological relevance of impaired phagocytosis to inflammatory disorders including autoimmune diseases. We are also exploring the mechanisms of neutrophil extracellular trap formation to establish a novel therapy for neutrophil-related diseases.

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Laboratory of Cell Regulation
Research members
Research theme

We are focusing on the studies of regulatory mechanisms of cell cycle progression, especially of DNA replication and mitosis.

  1. Biochemical analysis of the dynamics of DNA replication forks and replisomes in the presence of DNA damage.
  2. Biochemical analysis of mitotic DNA synthesis and progression of mitotic events.
  3. Molecular and biochemical analysis of the function of a novel ubiquitin ligase H10BH (Ube3D) on chromosome stability, separation, and cytokinesis.
  4. Identifying novel molecules involved in the maintenance of chromosome structure.

We are trying to clarify them using Xenopus egg extracts and mammalian cells.

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Education and Research Facility

Education and Research Institute of Information Science
Research members
Research theme
  1. Simulation study on chemotactic ability of microorganisms using with physics and informatics models.
  2. Prescription survey on outpatients receiving long term medication/Development a continuous EBM learning and learning program for Pharmacist.
  3. Exploring of novel materials combined machine learning and quantum mechanics (or molecular dynamics simulation).

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Radioisotope Center
Research members
Research theme
Various equipment necessary for radiation protection and the latest radiation equipment are integrated in the Radioisotope Center.