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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Cell Biology
Prof. Mikio Furuse  
Our laboratory works to understand how epithelial cellular sheets partition the body in different compartments and maintain the homeostasis in multicellular organisms. We focus on intercellular junctions, especially vertebrate tight junctions, which seal the intercellular space to restrict the free diffusion of solutes via intercellular space. Utilizing molecular cell biological approach, we are analyzing the function of tight junction-associated integral membrane proteins including occludin, claudins, and others in cultured epithelial cells as well as in mice. We are also interested in the molecular organization of invertebrate counterparts of tight junctions to gain an integrative understanding for the role of intercellular junctions in epithelial barrier function.
Cell Biology (G-COE)
Assistant Prof. Tatsushi Igaki  
Our laboratory is studying the mechanism of how epithelial cells communicate each other to understand the molecular basis of epithelial dynamic homeostasis and cancer development. Epithelium has an intrinsic mechanism that eliminates oncogenic cells from the tissue. This ‘intrinsic tumor suppression’ is driven by cell-cell communication-based machinery called ‘cell competition’. Using Drosophila genetics, we are trying to understand the basic principle of this epithelial intrinsic tumor suppression. We are also genetically dissecting tumor growth and metastasis using a Drosophila model of tumor malignancy.
Cell Physiology
Prof. Yasuhiro Minami  
We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate "cell polarity and cell migration during developmental morphogenesis" and "genomic stability via cell-cycle checkpoint, in particular spindle checkpoint" by analyzing at different levels, i.e. molecular, cellular, and tissue/organ levels. We are also examining the relationships between abnormalities of these regulatory mechanisms and human diseases, including cancers and neurological disorders. Outlined below are our research projects are as follows:
(1) Molecular analyses of signal transduction regulating cell polarity and cell migration during developmental morphogenesis and tissue repair.
  (2) Molecular analyses of the relationships between abnormalities in cell polarity/ cell migration and tumor invasion/ metastasis.
  (3) Molecular analyses of neurogenesis and network formation in the central nervous system.
  (4) Molecular analyses of the relationships between abnormalities in spindle checkpoint and tumorigenesis.
  (5) Molecular analyses of epigenetic gene expression in the regulation of cell polarity and cell migration.
  (6) Analyses of tumor invasion/ metastasis and morphogenetic anomalies using animal models.
Molecular Brain Science
Prof. Susumu Seino  
Pancreatic beta-cell plays a central role in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis and failures of beta-cell function cause diabetes. Our laboratory focuses on:
(1) Functional development and regenerative medicine of endocrine pancreas
  (2) Molecular mechanisms of stimulus-secretion coupling (focusing on insulin secretion) and its failure
  (3) Molecular regulation of nutritional metabolism by the central nervous system
  (4) Generation of animal models for diseases by genetic manipulation and their analyses
  (5) Mechanisms of the development of diabetes mellitus.
Molecular Brain Science
Prof. Tatsushi Toda  
Our laboratory's research projects are, using various analytical methods in genomics, proteomics, glycomics, molecular cell biology, genetic engineering, and others,
(1) identification and functional analysis of the genes associated with monogenic or polygenic diseases such as muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, and mental retardation,
  (2) elucidation of molecular pathogenesis of these diseases,
  (3) development of diagnostics and therapeutics for these diseases towards personalized medicine, and
  (4) identification of the genes related to intelligence and memory, and understanding the complicated higher brain function.
Molecular Genetics
Prof. Atsu Aiba  
Our division focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms which underlie the synaptic plasticity, activity dependent formation of neuronal circuitry, and learning and memory. We generate knockout mice and inducible knockout mice of signal transduction molecules including the glutamate receptors. We have recently applied proteomics analysis to these mice.
Developmental Neurobiology
Prof. Toshio Terashima  
We are studying morphological and molecular mechanisms of the reelin signaling pathway with a use of neurological mutant mice, reelin-deficient mouse, reeler and Dab1-deficient mouse, yotari. In addition, we are studying development of the nervous system of the zebrafish and ascidia. We also study the basic and clinical anatomy of human bodies, such as the innervation pattern of foot muscles. Our current projects are as follows:
(1) Development of laminar structures in the brain and spinal cord, especially cerebral and cerebellar cortices, olfactory bulb, superior colliculus, and dorsal horn of the spinal cord on tha basis of reelin signaling pathway.
  (2) Mechanisms of migration of neurons in cortical and non-cortical structures in the central nervous system of the mouse.
  (3) Development of brain structures of the zebra fish and ascidia.
Developmental Biology and Regenrative Medicine
Prof. Hitoshi Niwa  
The Center for Developmental Biology (Riken CDB) was launched in April 2000 under the auspices of the Millennium Project research initiative that was established to drive research in the fields of information technology, environmental science and the study of aging, areas of vital importance to both Japan and the world in the 21st century. The Riken CDB has established affiliated graduate program relationship with Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine since April in 2002. The current graduate programs are directed by 3 principal investigators at RIKEN CDB (Drs. S. Nishikawa, H. Niwa, and M. Okano).
Developmental Biology and Regenrative Medicine
Prof. Masahiko Hibi  
(1) Molecular mechanism of axis formation in early vertebrate development
  (2) Molecular mechanism of neurogenesis and neural patterning
Developmental Biology and Regenrative Medicine
Associate Prof. Asako Sugimoto  
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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Molecular Biology
Prof. Tatsushi Toda  
Our laboratory's research projects are, using various analytical methods in genomics, proteomics, glycomics, molecular cell biology, genetic engineering, and others,
(1) identification and functional analysis of the genes associated with monogenic or polygenic diseases such as muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, and mental retardation,
  (2) elucidation of molecular pathogenesis of these diseases,
  (3) development of diagnostics and therapeutics for these diseases towards personalized medicine, and
  (4) identification of the genes related to intelligence and memory, and understanding the complicated higher brain function.
Biochemistry
Prof. Shun-ichi Nakamura  
(1) Molecular basis of hormone actions and metabolic regulation
  (2) Biochemistry of Neurotransmission
  (3) Control of gene activation and biochemistry of cancer
  (4) Enzymology of metabolic disorders
Department of Genome Sciences
Proteomics
Prof. Yoshimi Takai  
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Microbiology and Genomics
Prof. Hak Hotta  
(1) Study on the mechanisms of viral replication, carcinogenesis and immune evasion
  (2) Study on hepatitis C virus
  (3) Study on herpesviruses
  (4) Study on measles and SSPE viruses
  (5) Other medical virology
Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics
Prof. Takayoshi Kuno  
(1) Study on molecular mechanisms of drug action and pharmacogenomics using fission yeast model system
  (2) Molecular genetic study on cell signaling
  (3) Molecular biological and genetic study on immunosuppressants
  (4) Protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation
  (5) Stress response mechanisms of the cell
Biomedical Regulation and Parasitology
Prof. Yasuhiro Minami  
(1) Molecular analyses of cell-to-cell communications during histogenesis and organogenesis in mammals
  (2) Molecular analyses of immune diseases in animal models and their relationship with human diseases
  (3) Molecular and genetic analyses of malignant tumors in immuno-hematopoietic system
  (4) Molecular analyses of the regulation of cellular functions using experimental animal models
  (5) Study on emerging parasitic disease "Babesiosis"
  (6) Analysis of mechanisms of infection and drug resistance for protozoan parasitic diseases
  (7) Analysis of mechanisms of infection for arthropod-borne diseases
Department of Brain Sciences / Neuroscience
Molecular Brain Science
Prof. Hitoshi Okamura  
(1) Molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythm
  (2) Neurobiology of circadian rhythm
  (3) Brain science of behavior
Department of Biosignal Sciences
Cell Signaling
Prof. Ushio Kikkawa  
(1) Protein phosphorylation in the signal transduction
  (2) Membrane phospholipid degradation cascade in the signal transduction
  (3) Stress response and protein phosphorylation
Neuronal Signal Transduction
Prof. Naoaki Saito  
(1) Signal transduction system in the nervous system
  (2) Molecular mechanism of neuronal diseases and their treatment
  (3) Mechanism of signal transduction by lipid messengers
Molecular Signaling and Metabolism
Prof. Kazuyoshi Yonezawa  
(1) Signaling pathway via mTOR, the cellular target of immunosuppressant rapamycin
  (2) Molecular mechanism of cell growth
  (3) Proteome analysis of signal transudation based on genome information
Department of Synchrotron Radiation Medicine
Synchrotron Radiation Medicine
Prof. Naoto Yagi  ,  Prof. Yoshio Suzuki  
(1) Structure biology using x-ray diffraction
  (2) X-ray microscopy
  (3) High resolution x-ray computed tomography
  (4) Microangiography
  (5) X-ray fluorescence analysis of trace elements
  (6) Phase-contrast and refraction-contrast x-ray imaging
Department of Developmental and Regenerative medicine
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