[Disease-related Metabolites] Creation of Innovative Technology for Medical Applications Based on the Global Analyses and Regulation of Disease-Related Metabolites (transferred to the AMED)

As of April 1, 2015, promotion and support of research in this research area including all projects currently under implementation have been transferred to the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Strategic Objective

Creation of core technologies for early-stage drug discovery through the investigation of disease-specific profiles of biomolecules

Research Supervisor

Takao Shimizu (Director-General, Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine)


The aim of this Research Area is to create breakthrough technology platforms based on biomolecular dynamics analysis, the outcomes of which will contribute to medical applications such as drug discovery, disease diagnosis, and prevention. The technology platforms should increase the capacity of current systems to find, identify, and quantify disease-related metabolites and their associated factors as potential target molecules for disease control and broader medical applications.
In particular, metabolomics and other “omics” approaches are in great demand for the identification of disease-associated factors; therefore, these need to be developed. Further, we need the technology to identify proteins and other biomolecules related to these factors so they are within the scope. By combining biomedical research projects with the newly developing technology platforms, this Research Area aims to deliver proofs of concept for human disease control by taking full advantage of information obtained about core biomolecules as potential targets for medical applications.
The technical goals specified by the Research Area should be shared among individual research projects. Therefore, the management strongly encourages them to collaborate with others within this so-called virtual-network-type institute as well as with projects in the corresponding Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO) Research Area, both aiming for the establishment and sophistication of technologies in a team-oriented manner. The management also prioritizes smooth translations to clinical applications; therefore, it considers further efforts allied with other drug discovery programs.

Research Area Advisors

・Keiko Abe
Professor, The University of Tokyo

・Daisuke Uemura
Professor, Kanagawa University

・Taka-aki Sato
Fellow, Shimadzu Corporation

・Rami Suzuki
Senior Group Officer, Exective Director, Eisai Co., Ltd.

・Yoshimi Takai
Professor, Kobe University

・Toshihisa Takagi
Professor, The University of Tokyo

・Tetsuo Nagano
Executive Director, Pharmaceuticals and medical Devices Agency

・Shuh Narumiya
Professor, Director, Kyoto University

・Masahiro Nishijima
President, Showa Pharmaceutical University

・Tomoko Betsuyaku
Professor, Keio University

・Yuji Matsuzawa
Director, Sumitomo Hospital

Year Started : 2013

Identification of disease-related lysophospholipid and its application to medical science.

Research Director:

Junken Aoki(Professor, Tohoku University)

Development of Fundamental Technologies for Medical Applications Based on Membrane Phospholipids.

Research Director:

Hiroyuki Arai(Professor, University of Tokyo)

Formulation of a hub for metabolome analysis and development of medical basic technologies based on cancer specific metabolism

Research Director:

Tomoyoshi Soga(Professor, Keio University)

Development of Basic Technology for Identification of Bioactive Metabolites and Target Proteins

Research Director:

Mikiko Sodeoka(Chief Scientist, RIKEN)

Development of user-friendly metabolomics technology for application to lifestyle-related diseases research.

Research Director:

Eiichiro FUKUSAKI(Professor, Osaka University)

PLA2 metabolome-based identification of novel lipid-metabolic maps linked to diseases:from bench to clinic

Research Director:

Makoto Murakami(Project leader, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science)

Year Started : 2014

Chemical biological exploration of new functions of endogenous lipid-related molecules

Research Director:
Motonari Uesugi(Professor, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University)

Creation of search techniques for disease-related metabolic activities based on live imaging of clinical specimen and its application to drug developments

Research Director:
Yasuteru Urano(Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo)

Establishment of the platform for the control and prevention of allergy by omics-based understanding of its pathogenesis

Research Director:
Hiroshi Ohno(Group Director, Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, RIKEN)

Translational researchfor controlling diseases through mining key molecules regulating metabolic systems

Research Director:
Makoto Suematsu(Professor and Chair, School of Medicine, Keio University)

Development of metabolite biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease and identification of drug seeds from chemical screening based on the biomarkers

Research Director:
Nobutaka Hattori(Professor, School of Medicine, Juntendo University)

How gut microbiota shifts metabolites leading to neuro-endocrine disorders in mouse and man

Research Director:
Sidonia Fagarasan(Team leader, Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, RIKEN Yokohama Campus)

Cancer diagnosis/drug efficiency evaluation biomarker research by comprehensive metabolomics/targeted proteomics and establishment of innovative integrated clinical diagnosis network

Research Director:
Masaru Yoshida(Associate Professor, Division of Metabolomics Research, Department of Internal Medicine related, Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe University)

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