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

Fields of Studies

Pharmacognosy

Department of Medicinal Pharmacognosy
Research members
Research theme
Plants are rich souses of biologically active compounds, from which numerous clinically valuable medicines have been developed. In our laboratory, we are researching novel secondary metabolites with medicinal potential from crude drugs used in Kampo medicines, medicinal herbs, essential oils, and ornamental plants. Our current research interests are to discover natural products with molecular-targeted antitumor activities, anti-diabetes and anti-obesity activities, and inhibitory activities on the formation of AGEs. Furthermore, we are quantitatively analyzing the ingredients of Kampo medicines, which are associated with the efficacy and side effects. Believing that natural products must have a promising future, our challenge will continue.

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Department of Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry
Research members
Research theme

The aim of our research is to find new natural product-based drug candidates, which includes two approaches: (a) design and synthesis of natural product analogues prepared by chemical transformation of natural products or by the total synthesis, and (b) finding new bioactive compounds from natural sources. We currently focus on the following projects.

  • Chemical modification of RA-series antitumor cyclic peptides.
  • Chemical modification of brusatol-type antitumor quassinoids.
  • Synthesis of fluorinated bioactive natural products.
  • Development of new methods of peptide backbone modification.
  • Total synthesis of bioactive peptide natural products having unusual amino acids.
  • Isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive secondary metabolites from higher plants.

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Biofunctional Regulation

Department of Molecular Neurobiology
Research members
Research theme
Functional regulation of the nervous system by glia-neuron interaction

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Department of Microbiology
Research members
Research theme

To promote antimicrobial stewardship and prevent epidemic of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, we address the following research themes.

  1. Surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria
    Molecular epidemiology of the latest clinical Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Enterobacterales isolates are investigated.
  2. Elucidation of virulence mechanisms
    Bacterial virulence factors contribute to severe infectious diseases are identified using 3D skin and lung tissue models and murine infection models.
  3. Bacteria associated with acne pathology
    Antimicrobial resistance and exacerbating factors of Cutibacterium acnes isolated from patients with acne vulgaris are characterized.
  4. Development of novel anti-infection drugs
    An alternative therapy, such as anti-virulence agents that modulate bacterial toxin or virulence factors production without antimicrobial activity, is explored.

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Department of Pathophysiology
Research members
Research theme
Our laboratory mainly focuses on researches regarding renal urate transporters and the pathophysiology of purine metabolic disorders associated with hyperuricemia and hypouricemia. We have established a new model of hyperuricemia with impaired uric acid excretion via urate transporter ABCG2 on the intestine. To clarify the mechanism, we are analyzing uric acid dynamics involving the intestine by a highly sensitive electrochemical sensor. We are also trying to elucidate pathogenesis of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) deficiency through metabolic flux and genetic analysis using animal models and HPRT deficit iPS cells. These studies are expected to lead to development of novel therapeutic agents.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Research members
Research theme
Heart failure following ischemic heart disease is the leading causes of death worldwide. It is generally accepted that cardiac mitochondrial derangements induce cardiac contractile dysfunction in the development of acute and chronic heart failure. It is considered that cardiac stress proteins may play an important role for cardiac homeostasis against various stress. To elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction in the failing heart, we study about roles in stress proteins (heat shock proteins) in the development of heart failure.

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Department of Endocrine Pharmacology
Research members
Research theme
Basic research to improve women’s health through pharmacological finding that may contribute to the development of therapeutic agents for reproductive diseases. 1) Pregnancy (rate) improvements with identification of therapeutic targets of endometriosis and hypertensive disorders; specially, regulation of progesterone (P4) metabolism and P4 receptor signaling during decidualization, roles of cyclic AMP signaling in trophoblast implantation and its failure in recurrent miscarriage, and aberrant inflammation and epithelium-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in endometriosis. 2) Pharmacologic evaluation of new compounds derived from natural products on reproductive and endocrine functions; analysis of novel candidates to mitigate age-related reproductive disorders and symptoms associated with menopause.

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Center for Clinical Pharmacy
Research members
Research theme
Study on metabolic and cardiovascular disorders induced by obesity

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Department of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences
Research members
Research theme
We are conducting clinical research to formulate a therapeutic administration strategy of anticancer drug according to the stress intensity, by studying the relationship between stress markers such as cortisol, chromogranin A, and amylase in saliva and the side effects in anticancer drug administration.
Our research also includes proper usages of medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular complication caused by anticancer therapies from the viewpoint of cardio-oncology.
Furthermore, we are investigating the role of pharmacy and pharmacist during disasters.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology
Research members
Research theme
  1. Cellular pharmacodynamics of immunosuppressive drugs for individualized medicine.
  2. Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in immune cells and cancer cells.
  3. Drug repositioning of vitamin K1 and K2 for immunosuppressive therapy in organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases.
  4. Bevacizumab versus Anti-preeclamptic drugs: Evaluation with three-dimensionally co-cultured human mini tumors.
  5. Midazolam intoxication in a premature neonate.
  6. Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications of bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids in T cell-related diseases.

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Biochemistry & Drug Discovery

Department of Applied Biochemistry
Research members
Research theme
Our research theme is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of onset and progression of central nervous system diseases (eg stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.) and retinal/optic nerve diseases (eg normal tension glaucoma, etc.), for which no sufficient treatment method has been established yet. We use various pathological models in vitro and in vivo, including tools comprise a combination of molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology and biochemistry to explore new therapeutic targets and to assess novel therapeutic strategies for these diseases.

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Department of Biochemistry
Research members
Research theme

We are actively working on the following research projects for skin barrier functions using sebocytes, keratinocytes, and fibroblasts from humans, mice, and hamsters.

  1. The molecular mechanisms of sebaceous gland physiology and dysfunctions (acne and dry skin), and skin barrier disorders caused by anticancer drugs.
  2. The molecular mechanism of UV/near-infrared radiation-induced photoaging from the viewpoint of modulation of extracellular matrices.
  3. Central control mechanisms through the skin as a stress receptor.
  4. The molecular mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis and lymphedema. These research findings are likely to lead to a new understanding of the pathophysiology of skin barrier functions and the development of new cosmetics and drugs, and thereby propose a new concept of Skin Care & Cure.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Research members
Research theme
Basement membranes are thin sheet-like structures that abut many cell types, including epithelia, endothelia, muscle, fat, and peripheral nerve. Although they are also attractive biomaterials for tissue engineering, it is hard to prepare them from tissues. Of the molecules of basement membrane, laminins are major cell adhesive macromolecules that are composed of α, β, and γ chains. To clarify the functions of basement membranes, we have investigated laminins using recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides. We further have tried to reconstruct basement membrane functions using laminin-derived recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides. Our aim is to produce the usuful biomaterials mimicking basement membranes for regenerative medicine.

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Department of Immunopharmcology of Microbial Products
Research members
Research theme

Humans have a symbiotic relationship with various organisms. Among them, microorganisms exist as a normal flora and cover the body surface. At the same time, pathogenic microorganisms break through the body surface and enter the body to cause illness. We analyze the interaction between microbial components and the host from various angles and aim to create a diagnostic/therapeutic drug for intractable diseases related to immune disorders.

Recently, we focus on two major research topics:
1. Development of novel diagnostic tools for invasive fungal infections.
2. Elucidation of new onset mechanisms of pollinosis and development of innovative therapeutic drugs.

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Organic Chemistry & Drug Discovery

Biomolecular Organic Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
Our laboratory is conducting research from the following three viewpoints based on organic chemistry, aiming to contribute to drug discovery centered on natural products derived from marine medical resources and analogue compounds of nucleic acid.
Research topics
  1. Search for new molecules that exhibit a variety of bioactivities and unprecedented structures from natural resources.
  2. Total synthesis for the evaluation and supply of bioactive natural products.
  3. Design and synthesis of functional molecules that exhibit specific recognition of the nucleotide sequence.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics
Research members
Research theme
We focus on fundamental understanding of biological phenomena based on molecular biophysics and structural biology. We also work on medicinal chemistry with the aim of expanding the fundamental knowledge of biomacromolecules into drug discovery and diagnosis. For these purposes, we utilize recombinant techniques, organic syntheses, chemical biology, multidimensional NMR, X-ray crystallography, and various intermolecular interaction analyses. We carry on our studies about disease related proteins and protein complexes, such as oncogene products, signal transduction proteins, and proteins engaged in epigenetics.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
Recently, development of organic synthetic reactions with environmentally benign property is highly desirable. Many reactions using metal reagents and catalysts are efficient, however, most of metals exhibit toxicity. On the other hands, organocatalysis without metals has attracted a great deal of attention as an environmentally friendly synthetic methodology because of the desirable properties of organocatalysts, such as low toxicity, stability, and convenient handling. In our laboratory, we have attempted to develop a novel organocatalyst that can promote valuable asymmetric reactions. Furthermore, we aim to synthesize bioactive compounds from chiral synthetic intermediates that can be obtained using original organocatalysts.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
We are focusing “Medicinal Chemistry” (Pharmaceutical Chemistry) based on peptide chemistry. We aim to overcome intractable diseases such as cancer, genetic diseases and infectious diseases, focusing on functional molecules derived from living organisms such as proteins and peptides, and "peptide mimetics".
We are challenging “Chemical Biology”, which uses chemistry to solve the veil of life. We will use bio-functional molecules acquired through our own drug discovery research as "molecular probes" to elucidate their mechanism of action. This will lead to the understanding of life phenomenon, the improvement of efficacy, and the discovery of side effects.
We are also challenging “Chemical Pharmacology” to create drug molecules with pharmaceutical value based on organic chemistry. This study pursues Quality of Drug, such as drug and gene drug delivery systems (DDS) and the development of prodrugs that improve existing drugs.

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Department of Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
The goal of our group is to contribute welfare and health of human being through the development of synthetic organic chemistry. Research themes are (1) Development of Novel Synthetic Reactions and Methodologies, (2) Total Synthesis of Biologically Active Natural Products, and (3) Design and Synthesis of Functional Molecules. Ultimately, we hope ?with thinking about the meaning of life? to learn more and more deeply organic chemistry and the law of molecular world foreordained by divine will.

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Health Chemistry

Department of Hygiene and Health Sciences
Research members
Research theme

We are mainly studying on the following projects.

  1. Molecular mechanism of oxidative stress-induced activation of NF-kappaB, a master regulator of immunity and inflammation, in the process of tumorigenesis and metastasis
  2. Distinct regulation of nuclear receptors and miRNAs in the proliferation of normal types or cancerous types of liver cells
  3. Role of a guanine nucleotide exchange factor FGD1, which was identified as a gene product responsible for faciogenital dysplasia, in the metastasis of malignant tumor cells

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Department of Environmental Health
Research members
Research theme
To contribute to human disease prevention and health promotion, we have been researching mechanisms of vascular toxicity and neurotoxicity induced by environmental toxic substances and the biological defense-mechanism against them. We are also studying the elucidation of environmental factors affecting memory formation and mental/neurological diseases.
Research Projects
  1. Elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms of vascular lesions caused by arsenic and cadmium.
  2. Elucidation of functions of metallothionein in vascular tissues.
  3. Search for environmental factors affecting mental/neurological diseases and elucidation of their molecular mechanisms.
  4. Elucidation of mechanisms of peripheral neuropathy caused by methylmercury.
  5. Development of novel photodynamic therapy for brain tumor treatment.
  6. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of anti-tumor effect of arsenite.

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Department of Drug Metabolism and Molecular Toxicology
Research members
Research theme
In the Department of Drug Metabolism and Molecular Toxicology, with the theme of "Research on in vivo metabolism and safety of drugs and chemicals", we are conducting research to identify harmful metabolites produced from various chemical substances including drugs in the human body and to clarify the mechanism of detoxification of them at the molecular level. We have been elucidating the mechanism of metabolic activation and inactivation of carcinogens and analyzing the function of drug metabolizing enzymes. We have also determined the mechanism of drug-drug interactions between 5-fluorouracil (anticancer drug) and sorivudine (antivirus drug). Furthermore, we are studying the prevention of cancer associated with the enhancement of biological defense and suppression of cancer associated with the enhanced action of anticancer drugs by herbal medicines.

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Molecular Pharmaceutical Regulation

Department of Practical Pharmacy
Research members
Research theme
Conduct and support clinical research / research
We conduct and support clinical research using patient-reported outcomes that assess patient subjectivity, with a focus on cancer, supportive care, palliative medicine, and the field of HIV infection (e.g., Tohoku University, the University of Tokyo, and the National Cancer Institute).Particular attention is paid to shared adverse events, quality of life, symptoms, and decision-making, and many studies are also conducted using technologies such as ePRO/EDC.
Collaborative research with Tokyo Medical University Hospital
Our department has a long history of collaboration with Tokyo Medical University Hospital, where we have been conducting various clinical studies.

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Department of Drug Safety and Risk Management
Research members
Research theme
The Department of Drug Safety and Risk Management actively promotes student pharmacists to become knowledgeable in the investigation of the efficacy and safety of medicine. Our students are trained to appropriately evaluate the efficacy and safety of drugs by applying evidence-based practices through clinical questions by clinical research. Additionally, they learn strategies to identify medication errors and collaborate with other healthcare providers and professionals within hospital and pharmaceutical industries.

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Social Pharmacy Laboratory
Research members
Research theme
In social pharmacy from our point of view, our research aims to advance the analysis of the current situation of various social issues involving pharmacists in recent years, based on the background of these rapid changes, and to be reflected or referenced in social policies. Despite the fact that pharmacy pharmacists working in community pharmacies make significant contributions to community health care, many citizens are unaware of their activities, leading to an underestimation of pharmacy pharmacists. We aim to quantify the work of pharmacy pharmacists in dispensing and other tasks as well as their contributions to the community, such as school pharmacist activities.

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Laboratory of Biomedical ethics
Research members
Research theme
Medical ethics is an essential knowledge for medical professionals. This is because pharmacy requires the ethics of each of us as medical professionals to be able to contribute our expertise in medicine for the benefit of our patients. In this laboratory, we reconsider the ethical issues faced in the medical field and in the process of being born and dying from a pharmaceutical perspective, and propose an ideal situation for pharmacy. Specifically, the research that the giving and choosing of children, death with dignity and euthanasia, and deciding on a patient's treatment plan. Also study the desirability of clinical trials and animal experimentation that are closely related to pharmacology.

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Regulatory Science laboratory
Research members
Research theme
Japan has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, and its population is rapidly aging. We will identify issues in Japanese laws and systems regarding the future of the pharmaceutical industry and the work of pharmacists. Then, we will conduct a survey and research to generate evidence for necessary institutional changes for those issues. Specifically, in light of the 2019 amendments to the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Act, we are studying research related to the system of pharmacists' medication follow-up, and methods of collecting safety data on drugs in the SAKIGAKE system.

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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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Department of Formulation Science and Technology
Research members
Research theme
It was difficult to use bioactive peptides and nucleic acids as pharmaceuticals due to their poor stability and low distribution to target tissues, and for solution of these issues, novel formulation technologies have been studied extensively. Recently, several new medicines using those formulation technologies are in market. Aim of our laboratory is to maximize the potential of new medicinal modality such as nucleic acid medicines, and for realization of the objective, several research themes on new formulation technology are ongoing in our laboratory.
Specifically, our research themes are as follows.
- Formulation that can penetrate cancer tissues and deliver siRNA to cancer cells.
- Eye drop formulation that enables delivery of siRNA to the posterior segment of the eye
- Transdermal formulation that enables the absorption of DNA aptamers and messenger RNA
- Oral formulation that utilizes the function of exosomes, a carrier vehicle that organisms have in their bodies.

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Department of Drug Delivery and Molecular Biopharmaceutics
Research members
Research theme
The development of drug delivery systems (DDS) that selectively deliver drugs, nucleic acids (ex. siRNA, miRNA, and antisense oligo), and genes (ex. genome-editing tool) to disease sites is expected to lead to the treatment and prevention of intractable diseases such as cancer and genetic disorders. We are developing novel DDSs for pinpoint diagnosis and drug and gene therapy using nanoparticles called liposomes. Recently, we have successfully developed ultrasound-responsive nanobubbles for nucleic acid delivery. We are developing new DDSs to provide future medical care for patients suffering from diseases.

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Department of Biopharmaceutics
Research members
Research theme
Our research activity focuses on membrane transport of drugs and endogenous compounds, aiming to predict their pharmacokinetic behavior in humans and to identify their regulatory mechanisms as attractive targets for drug discovery. We are interested in the functional proteins to modulate the passive diffusion of drugs across the apical membranes and the basolateral transporters involved in intestinal drug absorption. We are currently investigating the biological functions and the underlying molecular mechanisms by the aids of new technologies and advanced analytics.

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Department of Clinical Evaluation of Drug Efficacy
Research members
Research theme
In our department, with the aim of providing optimal drug therapy for each patient, we analyze and integrate the information on individualization of humans and drugs, try to set the appropriate dosage and administration of drugs. To elucidate individual differences in the drug actions, we investigate for the specific biomarkers (bioactive substances, genes, etc.) for indicator of individual differences, and also analyze the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics to quantification of drug action. Then, we integrate the information on individualization of humans and drugs, establish the simulation model for individualized prediction of drug efficacy.

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Medicinal & Analytical Chemistry

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Experimental Therapeutics
Research members
Research theme

Our research projects are:

  • Establishment of a human conditionally immortalized cell-based microphysiological blood?brain barrier model for central nervous system drug discovery
  • Development of noninvasive in vivo CYP3A phenotyping for predicting personalized dosing regimens and clinical application
  • Simultaneous determination of endogenous and exogenous steroids by LC-MS/MS using stable isotope labelled compound as internal standards
  • Development of high-sensitivity analytical method of drug and endogenous substance using stable isotope label compound and application to tailor-made medicine

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Department of Biomedical Analysis
Research members
Research theme

Our goal is “Development of World's first analytical method/apparatus” to shine light into the field of clinical and biomedical analyses.
For example:

  • Development of high-throughput screening methods, for analysis of drug hydrophobicity (log D), and that of interaction between a metal ion and a drug.
  • Development of practical HPLC method for In-hospital quantitation of various drugs at blood level.
  • Design and development of bio-sensing platform based on microphysiological systems.
  • Development of real-time and label-free bio-sensing methods to understand physiological functions.
  • Development of portable and automated analysis systems for rapid on-site medical testing.
  • Design and fabrication of microfluidic tools by using digital fabrication technologies.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry
Research members
Research theme
We are focusing on “New method development and its application”, “Quality assurance of analytical data”, and “Exploring biological mechanisms”. In practical, we are determining physiocochemical properties of drugs, developing chemical sensors, developing highly sensitive and selective methods for determining drugs and biological molecules, developing data analysis methods by chemometrics, and studying cellular sensing and sorting of neutral compounds. Through theses studies, we will provide basic information and tools to the research fields of pharmaceutical sciences, food and drug industries, and clinical medicines.

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