We are currently working with the studies of functional proteins and bioactive peptides that control brain development and function. The ultimate goal of our researches is also to contribute drug development by using these functional materials. For further detail of each research is described as follows.

Functional analysis of epigenetic factors involved in brain development and function

The aim of this research is to elucidate the role of Epigenetics, such as DNA methylation and chromatin modification, in brain development and function. Based on this research, we also aim to contribute the development of the clinical materials, such as animal models, for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Identification and directed evolution of bioactive peptides

Bioactive peptides, identified from venomous animals, evolve at an accelerating rate and have various physiological functions. In this research, we aim to identify the bioactive peptides, which have ion channel blocking, enzyme inhibitory and antimicrobial activities, from ant and snake. Using directed evolution technique, we also aim to generate the novel functions, which are different from the original, to the bioactive peptides.

Molecular and cellular analysis of neural induction in ascidians

The aim of this research is to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neural development in ascidians which are closely related to vertebrates and share a basic body plan with vertebrates. Based on this research, we also aim to reconstruct a gene regulatory network in ascidian neural development.