Research Director: Dr. Mikiko Sodeoka
Chief Scientist, Advanced Science Institute, RIKEN
Research Term 2008-2013
The life and death of individual cells is strictly controlled to maintain homeostasis of a living organism. Essential cells dying as a result of cellular injury exhibit a phenotype, so called ‘necrosis’, and unwanted cells are eliminated by programmed mechanisms with a phenotype so called ‘apoptosis’. It is known that various disorders, such as cancers, ischemic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, can result from abnormal control of cell death, and regulation of cell death may provide new therapeutic modalities or prophylaxis. From this perspective, the molecular mechanisms of cell death, in particular necrosis, should be fully elucidated. In this project, we will develop low molecular weight cell death control molecules, identify proteins involved in the regulation of cell death, develop new chemical methods to detect the interaction of these proteins in living cells, and clarify the molecular mechanisms of cell death by investigating the roles of these proteins. Moreover, the novel small molecules and analytical methods resulting from this research may be useful for discovering new therapeutic agents and solving other problems of life science.
Dr. Mikiko Sodeoka