Manipulation of life forms at will!

全ての人々がWell-being(身体的、精神的、社会的に良好で幸福な状態)な社会を創り出すことは、より良い地球を100年後の未来へ届けるために重要なミッションです。私たちはこうしたミッションを実現させる第一歩として、多様な疾患(特にがん・糖尿病などを含む生活習慣病)の基礎となる普遍的・特異的な生命の作動原理に対する理解と制御法の開発を進めています。こうした研究を通して、人々が健康に過ごすために大切な科学的基盤の構築を目指しています!

Creating a society where every individual well-being (physical, mental, and social) is an important mission to make a better planet after 100 years in the future. As a first step towards realizing such a future, we aim to build the scientific foundation necessary for individuals to stay healthy through accumulating knowledge and developing technologies!

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.  ― Martin Luther King, Jr.


Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.  ― Pablo Picasso

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CANCER METABOLISM

Cancer metabolism is a process through which cancer cells generate the energy needed to grow and metastasize, and it is distinct from the intrinsic metabolic system of non-cancerous cells. Understanding cancer metabolism is important for developing therapeutic strategies to arrest or delay the progression of cancer.
Some of the questions we are currently investigating are as follows:

  • Why do cancer cells possess distinct metabolic system?
  • What are the mechanisms through which cancer cells sense and transmit the metabolic information to an inherent allostatic system?
  • Is it possible to develop new cancer therapies through perturbing the cancer cell-specific metabolic systems?


SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

One interesting study area that emerged recently in the field of synthetic biology, a multidisciplinary subfield, is the designing of synthetic biocomputing devices (SBDs) to manipulate cellular functions deliberately.
Some of the SBDs that we are currently developing are as follows:

  • Synthetic lethal weapon to combat cancer cells
  • Reprogramming devices to perturb spatiotemporal signaling dynamics in cancer cells
  • Reprogramming devices to perturb metabolic systems in cancer cells


DIGITAL × BIOLOGY

What would change when artificial intelligence (AI) will be comprehensible enough for everyone to use it? We are currently trying to comprehend and manipulate life forms using "digital biology", a concept that integrates life science and AI technology. AI may assist to visualize the substance of life forms that is difficult to observe through naked eyes.
Some of the projects that we are currently working on include:

  • Digital stain, a label-free imaging technology
  • Application of digital biosensor to visualize invisible information
  • Unravelling the mechanism underlying intratumor heterogeneity


PERSONALIZED NUTRITION

Diet is a tremendously complex input for human beings, and personalized nutrition means that the function of 37 trillion cells in our body can be precisely regulated by the input information alone. We are currently working with several collaborators to resolve this challenge.
Some of the projects that we are currently working on include:

  • Visualization of biological information encoded in blood.
  • AI nutrition (in collaboration with Prof. Shin-Ichiro Takahashi, Univ. Tokyo).
  • Epidemiological studies on food and health.


ORGANELLE CODE

Why do life forms exhibit such a wide variety of "morphologies"? There are several underlying reasons, including the realization of self-replication, which is the sole definition of life, and the implementation of advanced information transmission within the immediate proximity of a cell. Accordingly, we assume that "morphology" is not only a phenotype, but that the reason behind the creation of distinct "morphologies", which is an essential process for life organization. Thus, we aim to elucidate the biological information encoded in different "morphologies" that life forms possess.
Some of the questions we are currently investigating are as follows:

  • Why is the morphology of mitochondria altered in various diseases?
  • What happens when the organelle morphology is altered in a cell?