Keisuke Goda
Cell Search Engine
–Turning Serendipity into Planned Happenstance–
Program Manager
Keisuke Goda
  • Link to the Program Official HP
2001: B.A., physics, University of California, Berkeley
2007: Ph.D., physics, MIT
2007-2012: Researcher, University of California, Los Angeles
2012-Present: Professor, University of Tokyo
2014-Present: ImPACT Program Manager
(Cross appointment between The Univ. of Tokyo and JST; Effort: 85%)
World-class leader in photonics and multidisciplinary research. Young professor at University of Tokyo working on the development new research fields, industries, and new values. Selected as a World Economic Forum young global leader. Ph.D. in physics.


The objective of this program is to develop an innovative technology for systematically achieving serendipity — the Serendipiter — by integrating advanced methods and techniques in diverse fields including photonics, microfluidics, molecular cell biology, bioinformatics, and genetics. The Serendipiter is a miraculous cell search engine that discovers and analyzes rare, but valuable cells from a large heterogeneous population of cells quickly and accurately. It holds great promise for replacing time-consuming trail-and-error-based procedures and causing serendipity in the field of life science.

Disruptive Innovation

Keys to breakthrough

  • With conventional technology, the traits of cells are irretrievably buried in statistical data on traits. By finding and analyzing these traits with Serendipiter, a cell search engine, we can efficiently discover useful cell capabilities and unknown phenomena.  

The Challenges for the PM and the Impact of Success

Overview and background

  • Natural science is a field of study which seeks to clarify the laws of natural phenomena, and this is premised on the necessity of the reproducibility of the phenomena being studied. Conversely, natural science research to date has only studied easily reproducible phenomena and industrialized the related applied technologies.
  • On this program, we shine light on natural aspects that we have overlooked so far, in an innovative attempt to industrialize it. Specifically, we will develop Serendipiter , an innovative cell search engine for systematically achieving serendipity (accidental lucky discovery), to quickly and accurately discover and analyze “the needle in the haystack” in life science.

Impact on industry and society in the event of achievement

  • The technology to be developed will bring about a qualitative transformation of green innovation and life innovation, creating new industries and establishing a truly sustainable society.

Scenario for Success and Achievement Targets

Methods of resolution for success (Approach)

  • Develop miraculous Serendipitor (a miraculous cell search engine) that discovers and rigorously analyzes rare but valuable cells from an enormous cell population (of 1 trillion or more), quickly, accurately, at low cost and minimally invasively.
  • Achieve the goal through a multidisciplinary effort involving the different knowledge and technologies of top class researchers from Japan and overseas mainly in the field of advanced optical technology (those who are highly skilled in processing bulky data quickly and accurately) as well as in the fields of electronics, applied chemistry, molecular biology , computer science, genetic engineering and so on.

Management strategies

  • Implement research and development using the “elementary particle detector development” strategy. Develop various subsystems at various research institutions and build an integrated system (detector) by integrating the subsystems at the integration site. Minimize the risks of the program overall without relying on specific technologies.

Achievement targets

  • Establish start-ups at an early stage in order to create new industries and smoothly obtain intellectual property and achieve technology transfer.
  • During the course of the program, achieve ultra efficient biofuel and high precision blood testing technologies as major implementation examples of this new concept.

Overall R&D Program Structure Created by the PM

Features of the program

  • A unique cell detector with top class performance
  • Create systematic serendipity, hitherto restricted to trial and error search
  • Establish a platform that regularly produces Nobel-class discoveries
  • Basic research and development with a strong focus on industrialization from the start

Implementation Structure as Assembled by the PM

For detailed information about Implementation Structure, please see the Program Official HP:     Link to the Program Official HP