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Research Outline

Strategic Sectors

“Elucidation and regulation in the dynamic maintenance and transfiguration of homeostasis in living body”

Research Supervisor

Research Supervisor: Masato Kasug

Masato Kasuga(President, National Center for Global health and Medicine)»detail

Outline of Research Area

We call for research proposals that purport to address the living body as a mechanism of homeostasis, thus helping elucidate the mechanisms involved in the maintenance and transfiguration of homeostasis and by extension the mechanisms involved in the onset of aging and lifestyle-related diseases. Through these lines of research, we aspire not only to provide an integrated understanding of life process at work, but also to promote the development of diagnostic/therapeutic modalities that go beyond symptomatic approaches based on this integrated understanding of life processes, but also to help optimize healthcare for individual patients according to their age and life stage.

Research endeavors of particular interest include the following perspectives:

  • 1) the inter-organ network of functions as an integrated process;
  • 2) changes over time in the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of homeostasis; and
  • 3) Disruption of the mechanisms involved in homeostasis as a cause of diseases

We therefore call for research themes that purport to address the living body as a unified process in a multidisciplinary manner that goes beyond the frameworks of established specialties such as neurology, immunology, endocrinology and hematology.

Research Supervisor’s Policy on Call for Application, Selection, and Management of the Research Area

It has long been thought that a mechanism is in place in the living body that responds to external stimuli or stress to maintain a stable state within the body, i.e., homeostasis as a key principle in life phenomena, which entails such broad-based and complicated processes that, until quite recently, it has remained largely unraveled.
However, advances in genetic engineering of mice have led in recent years to discovery that this mechanism involves signaling cross-talk among the organs. Indeed, this homeostasis as an inter-organ network of functions, as well as the mechanisms involved in its disruption, is now beginning to lend itself to comprehensive elucidation, thanks to advances in comprehensive exploratory techniques and bioinformatics, as well as in supercomputing capabilities.
We therefore call for research efforts focused on elucidation and regulation of this inter-organ, functional network; on elucidation of transfiguration of the homeostasis mechanism through differing stages of life from development to aging; and elucidation and regulation of lifestyle-related diseases viewed as a disruption of this homeostasis mechanism, as advances in these research efforts will contribute greatly not only to development of drugs without untoward adverse effects and diagnostic/therapeutic modalities that go beyond symptomatic approaches based on an integrated understanding of life processes at work, but also to optimization of healthcare for individual patients according to their life stage, thus establishing the base technology for preemptive healthcare required for a quickly aging society.
Clearly, to grasp dynamic homeostasis involving broad-based and complicated processes calls for multidimensional perspectives and approaches. Therefore, with the “inter-organ network of functions and their integration” serving as the key theme, we call for research themes that go beyond established specialties such as neurology, immunology, endocrinology and hematology from all areas of research including clinical and experimental medicine and experimental biology. In addition to the above area, I would like to expect the application from fields, such as, mathematical biology, and systems biology, in an effort to construct new bases and concepts regarding homeostasis as life phenomena. We also expect this will provide an opportunity for researchers to interact proactively and synergistically by going beyond their conventional frameworks with their insights being fed back as novel perspectives in research. This is the last year to call for application in this research area. Therefore, we heartily welcome breakthrough proposals from open-minded and challenging investigators.