[Life Phenomena and Materials] Life Phenomena and Materials

Strategic Objective

Elucidation of the mechanisms relating to changes in biological robustness associated with aging and control of age-related diseases

Integrated understanding of human multi-sensing networks and elucidation of their control mechanisms

Design of plant-derived molecules building up the foundation for plant synthetic biology

Functional dynamics in the cell

Development of core technology platforms for understanding spatiotemporal multicellular interaction

Establishing technologies for genome-scale DNA synthesis and functional expression, and creating technology seeds for material production and medical care

Construction of revolutional material development methods through fusion among experiments and theory/data science

Research Supervisor


Yoko Toyoshima (Emeritus Professor, The University of Tokyo)


 Biotechnology is an important, fundamental technical field that holds the key to Japan’s future competitiveness. Further development is required to achieve a society of health and longevity and construct a sustainable social system. In addition, the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its socioeconomic impact have heightened the necessity to develop measures required to reduce the threat of subsequent infectious diseases. For biotechnology to address these challenges, it is necessary to develop substances and materials with novel functions and develop technologies that measure and evaluate them to deepen our understanding of life phenomena and contribute to solving issues. From this perspective, it is indispensable to support and foster excellent young researchers who have original ideas and will lead the next generation.
 This Research Area, under the keywords of Life Phenomena and Materials, promotes fundamental research and creates new values and challenges for young researchers in various fields. Specifically, the Research Area focuses on designing and creating new substances and materials related to Life Phenomena and research related to the elucidation, control, and application of these life phenomena, such as discovery, functional analysis, and utilization of biomolecules and microorganisms. Further, research on measurements and evaluations related to the interaction between substances/materials and living organisms is also included. In various fields, such as life sciences, chemistry, engineering, and physics, challenging concepts based on novel ideas are sought, with Materials as the cornerstone for investigations that can contribute to the medical/health and environmental fields and for research on substances and materials that can contribute to improving our knowledge on life phenomena.
 In promoting research and emphasizing on researcher development, fostering investigators who promote advanced studies that contribute to the future, and fostering networking that would facilitate future collaborations are planned by providing an avenue for young scholars from different fields to interact and inspire one another.

Research Area Advisors

Kazunari Akiyoshi Project Professor & Professor Emeritus,Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
Mina Okochi Professor, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Junko Kanoh Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Yuko Mimori-Kiyosue Distinguished Professor appointed by the University President, Institute of Biomedical Science, Kansai Medical University
Shoen Kume Professor, School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tomonobu Koizumi Manager, RIKEN Program of Drug Discovery and Medical Technology Platforms, RIKEN
Tsuyoshi Sekitani Professor, SANKEN, Osaka University
Kouhei Tsumoto Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Keiji Numata Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University
Tomohiro Hayashi Associate Professor, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Takashi Funatsu Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Yoshiko Miura Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
Hozumi Motohashi Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University
Mami Yamazaki Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University

Research Projects

  1. Year Started : 2022
  2. Year Started : 2023

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