Manipulation of life forms at will！
すべての人がWell-being（身体的、精神的、社会的に豊かな状態）であることは、豊かで持続的な未来を創り出すために必要な原動力です。私達は、様々な生理・病理現象における普遍的・特異的な作動原理を深く理解した上で、それらを栄養素（Personalized Nutrition）や生体分子（Synthetic Biology）を駆使して制御する手法の開発を進めています。そしてこれら手法を駆使することで、すべての人がWell-beingに過ごせるユニバーサルヘルスケアが充実した社会の実現を目指しています。一方で、我々だけがWell-beingに過ごすのではなく、100年後の未来を生きる人たちもWell-beingに過ごせる社会を創り出したいとも思っています。そこで私たちは、ヒトを含めた生物と地球が共に健康的に過ごせる社会とは何か？を考え、その答えをPlanetary Healthの在り方として提唱していきたいと考えています。
Well-being (physical, mental, and social well-being) for all people is the driving force necessary to create a prosperous and sustainable future. Based on a deep understanding of the universal and specific operating principles of various physiological and pathological phenomena, we are developing methods to control them using nutrients (Personalized Nutrition) and biomolecules (Synthetic Biology). By making full use of these methods, we aim to realize a society with universal health care that allows all people to live well-being. At the same time, we also want to create a society in which not only we can live in wellbeing, but also those who will live 100 years in the future can live in wellbeing. We are therefore considering the question, "What is a society in which all living things, including humans, and the Earth can spend a healthy life together? We would like to propose the answer to this question in the form of Planetary Health.
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
Cancer metabolism refers to the mechanism by which cancer cells procure the energy required for growth and spread, differing from the metabolic processes of healthy cells. Comprehending cancer metabolism is crucial for the advancement of therapeutic tactics aimed at curbing or delaying cancer progression.
Our ongoing research endeavors to address the following inquiries:
- What underlies the dissimilar metabolic systems of cancer cells?
- How do cancer cells perceive and communicate metabolic information to their adaptive mechanisms?
- Can novel cancer treatments be devised by disrupting the metabolic systems of cancer cells?
The development of biomolecular devices aimed at deliberately manipulating cellular functions has garnered attention in the interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology. To develop useful biomolecular devices, it is necessary to understand how all bio-molecules cooperate to exhibit functionality and to control biomolecules accordingly. Projects underway in this field are as follows:
- Synthetic lethal weapon to combat cancer cells
- Reprogramming devices to perturb spatiotemporal signaling dynamics in a cell
- Reprogramming devices to perturb metabolic systems in a cell
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
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.
The diversity of morphologies displayed by living entities can be attributed to multiple factors, including the attainment of self-replication, the quintessence of life, and the facilitation of efficient information exchange at the cellular level. Consequently, we posit that morphology is not just a phenotype but also a crucial factor in the organization of life. Our objective is to decipher the biological information embedded in the various morphologies possessed by living beings. The current queries being explored in this regard are:
- Why is the morphology of mitochondria altered in various diseases?
- What happens when the organelle morphology is altered in a cell?