Biological Science and Technology

Biological Science and Technology



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Research Activities

Over the past few decades, biological science and related fields have remarkably expanded. Much information about the function and structure of many biologically active molocules such as proteins and DNA has been accumulated, and splendid techneques for the improvement of organisms as well as biological molecules have been developed. The information and techneques have been utilized for the development of biotechnology. In the 21st century, the roles of biological science and biotechnology in industry are increasing and undoubtedly affording us much greater success. Our department is deeply devolved to both the education and research of biological science and technology. It consists of two major chairs; Engineering in Biological Functions and Engineering in Biological Reactions. The former is further divided into three research groups, named A1 to A3, whereas the latter consists of three groups, namely, B1 to B3. The current members of each group are A1 (S. Kaneshina, H. Matsuki & N. Tamai); A2 (H. Hori, H. Nagasawa & Y. Uto); A3 (H. Kourai, H. Nagamune & T. Maeda); B1 (Y. Matsuda, A. Tsuji & K. Yuasa); B2 (S. Noji, H. Ohuchi & T. Mito); B3 (T. Ohshima, H. Sakuraba, T. Koide & S. Goda).



Group A1:

Primary research themes of the laboratory of biophysical chemistry are as follows:

  1. Structure and properties of lipid bilayers under high pressure. The phase behavior of phospholipid bilayer membranes under high pressure has been studies by various physico-chemical methods
  2. Action mechanism of membrane tragetting drugs: Interactions of general and local anesthetics with model bio-membranes have been examined from the viewpoint of non-specificity of anesthetic action.
  3. Colloidal properties of self-organized assemblies: Fundamental nature of functional aggregates (such as vesicle, micelle and monolayer) formed by amphiphiles including biological surfactants have been studied by techniques of physical chemistry and surface science.


Group A2:

  1. Discovery of health-related-quality-of-life (HR-QOL)-based anticancer drugs: 1) multi-functional hypoxic cell radiosensitizers and hypoxic cytotoxins which show antiangiogenic, antimetastatic, or biological-response-modifier (BRM)-functional activities; 2) differentiation/apoptosis inducers; 3) biologically active molecules such as disease-related enzyme inhibitors, antioxidants, and mitochondrial cytotoxins/modifiers; 4) BRM-functional natural products; 5) Gc-protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF) as BRMs.
  2. Discovery of novel functional proteins in brain: identification, molecular cloning, and functional analysis.


Group A3:

  1. Drug-design of high-performance and environmentally-friendly antimicrobials. Solution of various problems for their practical application: microbial degradation, drug-resistance, cytotoxicity and so on.
  2. Integrated study on bacterial toxins and host-pathogenic parasite interaction. Application of bacterial toxins to the cell technology in medical and industrial fields.



Group B1:

  1. Molecular basis of regulatory mechanism for cell differentiation by proprotein convertase (subtilisin-like proprotein convertase).
  2. Development of selective protease inhibitors by protein-engineering and their application.
  3. Role of EF-h and Ca2+ binding protein which possesses ER retention signal.
  4. Role of plant proteases in germination and their application in plant biotechnology.


Group B2:

  1. Mechanism of development and evolution of vertebrate limbs, focusing on roles of signaling factors and Homeobox genes form molecular biological points of view.
  2. Mechanism of development and evolution of insect limbs (cricket), focusing on roles of signaling factors and Homeobox genes form molecular biological points of view.
  3. Mechanism of regeneration of insect legs form molecular biological points of view.
  4. Mechanism of development and evolution of eyes form molecular biological points of view.


Group B3:

  1. Construction of recycling society using un-utilized biomass.
  2. Conversion of un-utilized biomass into useful chemicals by using microorganisms such as yeasts and fungi.
  3. Development of bioprocess for mass production of useful enzymes.