[Opt Bio] Development and application of optical technology for spatiotemporal control of biological functions

Strategic Objective

Development of optical control technologies and elucidation of biological mechanisms

Research Supervisor

Ryoichiro Kageyama(Director, Center for Brain Science, RIKEN)


This research area promotes the development of optical control technologies and their applications. Recently, optical control technologies such as optogenetics, have caused revolutionary advances in life-science research by virtue of their characteristic ability for control with extreme spatiotemporal resolution. Given their reversibility, as well as their amenability to real-time monitoring, these technologies are expected to be adopted rapidly in the diverse fields of biology and medicine. On the other hand, these technologies still require improvements to enable better understanding of biological mechanisms: cellular toxicity of blue light, undesired effects of the transgene, development of long wavelength photoreceptor proteins, among others. In addition, the invasiveness associated with implanted light probes or transgenes should be overcome for clinical applications. Thus, the aim of this research area is the development of optical control technologies to overcome the aforementioned problems, and the elucidation of the mechanism of biological functions by means of these technologies. To understand and regulate intricate biological systems, we solicit research proposals in the fields of neuroscience, immunology, developmental biology, regenerative medicine, and cancer research among others.

Research Area Advisors

・Masaru Ishii
Professor, Osaka University

・Hiroyasu Itoh
Advisor, Board Room, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. / Vice-President Project Professor, The Graduate School for the Creation of New Photonics

・Masanobu Kano
Professor, The University of Tokyo

・Satoru Kawamura
Professor Emertius, Osaka University

・Yuko Mimori-Kiyosue
Principal Investigator, RIKEN

・Reiko Kobayakawa
Professor, Kansai Medical University

・Kazuto Kobayashi
Professor, Fukushima Medical University

・Hiroyuki Takeda
Professor, The University of Tokyo

・Takeharu Nagai
Professor, Osaka University

・Atsushi Nambu
Professor, National Institute for Physiological Sciences

・Osamu Nureki
Professor, The University of Tokyo

Research Projects

  1. Year Started : 2016
  2. Year Started : 2017
  3. Year Started : 2018

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