[Genome programming] Large-scale genome synthesis and cell programming

Strategic Objective

Establishing Technologies for Genome-scale DNA Synthesis and Functional Expression, and Creating Technology Seeds for Material Production and Medical Care

Research Supervisor


Haruhiko Siomi (Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Keio University)


 This research area aims to elucidate basic principles in relation to the structure and function of genomes (the principle of genome function) and for the creation of a platform technology for the use of cells on the basis of such knowledge. In particular, we aim to control cells by using long-chain DNA and thus to develop this frontier in the field of life science, including genome science and cell engineering, and to establish a technology platform.
 In recent years, research and development that uses long-chain DNA has been accelerating globally, following paths developed by synthetic biology. In the U.S., China, and the UK, a certain number of genome synthesis centers have been established, where strategical investments have been made in fundamental research, technology developments, fostering venture enterprises, and more. However, when we look at the endeavors of each country, it seems that there are only a small number of research and development projects that proceed in the area genome programming for the autonomous control of cells.
 This is why in this research area we will manage research and development for the purpose of solving the principle of functional genomics in view to establish a future platform technology for genome programming. From the point of view of making use of long-chain DNA, a field in which considerable development has been ongoing, we facilitate four project areas comprising “Elucidation of Genome Structure and Function,” “A Platform Technology for Genome Design,” “Genome Synthesis Technology,” and “Producing artificial cells,” which aim to generate knowledge in relation to the complex functions and structures of genomes, as well as establishing a new technology in relation to genome synthesis and artificial cells.

Research Area Advisors

Yoko Asakura Associate General Manager, Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Kojiro Ishii Professor, School of Engineering Science, Kochi University of Tecnology
Yumiko Imai Project Leader, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition
Shintaro Iwasaki Chief Scientist, Cluster for Pioneering Research, RIKEN
Hiroshi Okazaki Former Executive Officer, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.
Satoshi Obika Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University
Tetsuji Kakutani Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Tomoya Kitajima Deputy Center Director/Team Leader, Center for Biodynamics Dynamics Research, RIKEN
Ken Kurokawa Professor & Vice-Director, National Institute of Genetics, Research Organization of Information and Systems
Sumio Sugano Professor, Future Medicine Education and Research Organization, Chiba University
Tsutomu Suzuki Professor, School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo
Itoshi Nikaido Professor, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Ryuji Yokokawa Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University

Research Projects

  1. Year Started : 2018
  2. Year Started : 2019
  3. Year Started : 2020

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