KANAI Life Science Catalysis

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Research Director: Motomu KANAI
(Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
Research Term: Oct 2011 - Mar 2017
Special Extension Period: Apr 2017 - Mar 2018
Grant Number: JPMJER1103


Life is a chemical system. From a very simplified viewpoint, many disease states result from changes in the activity levels of catalysts (= enzymes), i.e., they are less active or more active than they should be. Recent significant advances in the field of biology allow increases in number of potential targets for new, highly beneficial drugs. However, the number of newly approved drugs worldwide has not increased because structurally complex molecules requiring labor-intensive syntheses are excluded as drug candidates due to their high cost, even if these molecules exhibit superb medicinal properties. The Kanai Life Science Catalysis project aimed to promote human health based on "artificial life" created by chemistry. Driven by interactive fusion between chemistry and biology, artificial catalysts, rather than drugs that modify enzymatic activities, may eventually be able to facilitate or even completely substitute for normal enzymatic reaction pathways under physiological settings.



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