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Projects for promoting international joint research selected

2013-10-11(Fri)

As a measure for promoting its academic initiatives, Osaka University established the International Joint Research Promotion Program. In order to further enhance research quality and promote globalization of Osaka University, Osaka University supports advanced research between international researchers and Osaka University researchers. This year, out of 27 projects submitted, a screening committee selected the 15 projects noted below.

In the International Joint Research Promotion Program, Osaka University provides the projects selected with funding to assist in hiring research personnel and also for covering travel expenses of young researchers in coming to the project lab at OU so that, even when the invited international researcher is out of Japan, joint research can continue. Therefore, this program is not just support for international joint research, but a first step toward the establishment of international joint labs, major players in the dynamic globalization at Osaka University.

This program will not only promote further research, but also make possible seminars and lectures featuring the invited international researcher, thereby also greatly contributing to the globalization of education at OU. Osaka University provides the projects selected with travel support and an honorarium for the international researcher, travel expenses for OU faculty members, and support for employing additional researcher(s).
Osaka University will look for projects starting in the next academic year in or around December. We look forward to the active participation of international researchers in this program.

International Joint Research Promotion Program

 Selected projects

Project leader

Title, Organization

Joint research organization

Details

Minoru ASADA

Professor, Graduate School of Engineering

California Institute of Technology (U.S.A.)

Details

Katsurou INOUE

Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology

University of Victoria (Canada)

Details

Masashi KASHIWAGI

Professor, Graduate School of Engineering

École Centrale de Nantes  (France)

Details

Genji KURISU

Professor, Institute for Protein Research

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)

Details

Ryousuke KODAMA

Professor, Graduate School of Engineering

École polytechnique, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France)

Details

Akira SHINOHARA

Professor, Institute for Protein Research

Friedrich-Miescher-Institut (Switzerland)

Details

Yoshiaki SUGIMOTO

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Czech)

Details

Shigehiro SERIZAWA

Professor, Institute of Social and Economic Research

Indian Statistical Institute (India)

Details

Kentaro NAGAMINE

Professor, Graduate School of Science

University of Kentucky (U.S.A.)

Details

Kunihiko NISHINO

Associate Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research

The University of Hong Kong
 (Hong Kong)

Details

Kichiji HATANAKA

Professor, Research Center for Nuclear Physics

Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics

Details

Kazuo HAYAKAWA

Professor, Center for Twin Research

University of Helsinki (Finland)

Details

Ichiro FUJITA

Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences

Forschungszentrum Juelich, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Germany)

Details

Kazushi MASHIMA

Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Switzerland)

Details

Shumei MURAKAMI

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Dentistry

University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Details

Details of projects for promoting international joint research selected

Robots' consciousness emerging through intersubjective synchrony
Project Leader Minoru ASADA, Professor, Department of Adaptive Machine Systems, Graduate School of Engineering

Visiting Researcher Shinsuke SHIMOJO, Professor, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Research Period  March 1, 2014 ~ February 28, 2017
Research Outline Emotional synchrony between two agents is often facilitated by bodily synchrony. However, the neural systems and hormonal control underlying this link between bodily and emotional synchrony are still to be revealed. In this project, we will tackle this problem by making full use of psychological, neurological, and synthetic approaches. We aim to integrate and verify our findings in a human-robot interaction scenario, in which emotional synchrony between human and robot is to be achieved.

Development of Analysis Method for Software License Evolution
Project Leader Katsurou INOUE, Professor, Department of Computer Science, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology
Visiting Researcher Daniel Morales GERMAN, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Canada
Research Period  October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline Knowing software license of open-source-software systems and software assets in organizations is very important for propose reuse of those software. In this international collaboration research, we will unify two approaches for software license identification and source-code evolution analysis, and will establish a method for analyzing software license evolution efficiently.

Synthetic Engineering Study on Enhancement of Absorption
Efficiency and Practical Utilization of Marine Renewable Energies
Project Leader Masashi KASHIWAGI, Professor, Global Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering
 
Visiting Researcher Pierre FERRANT, Professor, LHEEA (Laboratoire de Recehrche en Hydrodynamique, Energetique et Environnment Atmospherique), Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France

Research Period  October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline Performance in winds and waves of a floating platform for marine-renewable-energy utilization will be studied, with emphasis placed on establishment of an analysis system for the time-domain nonlinear motions and the fluid-structure interactions, through international collaboration between Osaka University and Ecole Centrale de Nantes in France.

Structural analysis of the photosynthetic energy transduction for
light-driven biohydrogen production by artificial cell
Project Leader Genji KURISU, Professor, Institute for Protein Research

Visiting Researcher Thomas HAPPE, Professor, Department of Photobiotechnology, Ruhr University Bochum
Research Period  October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline In order to design a model cell system optimized for production of biohydrogen using sunlight, it must be achieved to couple the linear photosynthetic electron transport with an engineered enzyme. For this purpose, the structural principles of energy transduction in thylakoid membranes are most important. We are trying to understand the structural basis for the photosynthetic energy transduction based on the crystal structures.

Exploring of High Energy Density Matter with Photon and Beam Technologies under Japan and France Cooperation
Project Leader Ryousuke KODAMA, Professor, Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering

Visiting Researcher Michel KOENIG, Research Director, Intense Lasers Laboratory (LULI), École Polytechnique

Research Period October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline We are now exploring high energy density matter science by using photon and beam technologies such as high power lasers. The high energy density states is created under pressures of more than 10GPa to TPa, where the matter is in extreme states related to geophysics, high pressed physics and material science in extreme conditions. Under this program, the Japan-France joint team will pioneer the new field of science on extremely high-pressed condensed matter using the high power laser facility of Osaka University in the SACA or Japanese XFEL facility of RIKEN.

Molecular Mechanism of chromosome dynamics & epigenome in suppression of chromosome instability
Project Leader Akira SHINOHARA, Professor, Institute for Protein Research

Visiting Researcher Susan Margaret GASSER, Director, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Research Period  March 1, 2014 ~ February 28, 2017
Research Outline Instability of genome in germ cells, from which gamete such as sperms and eggs are produced, cause aneuploidy diseases such as miscarriage and Down syndrome. In this international collaborative project with Dr. Susan Gasser, a professor and director of Friedrich Mercier Institute (FMI) in Basel, we are aiming to dissect molecular mechanism of chromosome dynamics and its relation ship to epigenome as well as to understand biological significance of these events. This study may contribute our understanding of medical aspects of infertility and miscarriage in human.

Chemical identification of individual surface atoms
Project Leader Yoshiaki SUGIMOTO, Associate Professor, Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering

Visiting Researcher Pavel JELINEK, Group Leader, Institute of Physics, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic

Research Period  January 1, 2014 ~ December 31, 2016
Research Outline Scanning probe microscopy is a powerful tool for nanotechnology, which allows us to image individual surface atoms, characterize the material, and manipulate atoms. In this study, we develop the method for chemical identification of various atoms. Experimental and theoretical studies are performed at Osaka University and Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, respectively to achieve novel identification techniques.

Frontier of Economic Theory and its application to Mechanism Design
Project Leader Shigehiro SERIZAWA, Professor, Institute of Social and Economic Research

Visiting Researcher Debasis MISHRA, Associate Professor, Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute

Research Period  November 1, 2013 ~ October 31, 2016
Research Outline Together with Indian Statistical Institute, University of Rochester,National University of Singapore, Academia Sinica, etc., we study advanced economic theories such as, auction theory, matching theory, voting theory, and apply them to design social rules such as frequency license allotment rule, internship matching rule, school admission rules, airport landing slot allotment rule, political system, etc.

Formation and Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes from Cosmological Perspective
Project Leader Kentaro NAGAMINE, Professor, Course in Earth and Space Science, Graduate School of Science
 
Visiting Researcher Isaac SHLOSMAN, Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Kentucky

Research Period  February 1, 2014 ~ January 31, 2017
Research Outline Current astronomical observations strongly suggest that every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole (SMBH) in the center. It is one of the most important problems of modern astrophysical studies to understand the formation and evolution of SMBHs in the context of concordance cosmological model.  In this project, in collaboration with Professor Isaac Shlosman of Univ. of Kentucky, USA, we intend to clarify the formation of SMBHs and their co-evolution with the host galaxy.  Using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, we will examine the growth of SMBH via gas accretion, as well as the feedback mechanisms on galaxy formation by the radiation and gas outflows.

Mechanism of bacterial homeostasis mediated by transporters and development of new therapeutic strategies to control infectious diseases
Project Leader Kunihiko NISHINO, Associate Professor, Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research

Visiting Researcher Aixin YAN, Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong

Research Period  January 1, 2014 ~ December 31, 2016
Research Outline Multidrug efflux transporters play a major role in the multidrug resistance by extruding antibiotics or biocides out of the cell. Recent discoveries support the notion that at least some multidrug transporters have specific physiological substrates because these transporters have been shown to have roles in bacterial virulence. In this international collaborative project with Dr. Aixin Yan, a young principal investigator of the University of Hong Kong, we are aiming to understand a mechanism of bacterial homeostasis mediated by transporters. This study should promote the development of novel inhibitors or strategies that could counteract the contribution of bacterial transporters to drug resistance and virulence.

Research on time reversal symmetry with high density UCN
Project Leader Kichiji HATANAKA, Professor, Research Center for Nuclear Physics
 
Visiting Researcher Akira KONAKA, Group Leader, Particle Physics; Senior Research Scientist, Science Division, TRIUMF

Research Period  October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline

The neutron electric dipole moment (nEDM) violates the time reversal symmetry. The value of nEDM is used to test new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics. At RCNP, an experimental group led by Yasuhiro Masuda (KEK) has developed an ultracold neutron (UCN) source which can produce highest UCN density in the world and can be a game changer in the fundamental physics with neutrons. This experimental group is carrying out a nEDM experiment with the high density UCN source at RCNP. Under this experimental group, we carry out the present program. We study the UCN source and the systematic errors in the nEDM measurement.

Comparative Twin Study between Japan and Finland: How Genetic and Environmental Factors Shape Health of the Elderly
Project Leader Kazuo HAYAKAWA, Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine

Visiting Researcher Karri Tapani SILVENTOINEN, Acting Professor, Dept. of Social Research, University of Helsinki

Research Period January 1, 2014 ~ December 31, 2016
Research Outline Twin research provides unique clues to evaluate how genetic and environmental factors shape the health and behaviors of human. Osaka University’s twin registry is one of the largest in Japan and distinctive in that most of the registrants are elderly.  
This study involves elderly twin studies from Japan and Finland to provide clues to build healthier societies.

Neural mechanism of active vision studied by combining large-scale sampling of neural activity and advanced computational analysis
Project Leader Ichiro FUJITA, Professor, Department of Frontier Biosciences,Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
 
Visiting Researcher Sonja GRÜN, Vice Director, Head of Laboratory, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-6) and Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS-6), Jülich Research Centre and JARA; Professor, Theoretical Systems Neurobiology, RWTH Aachen University

Research Period October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline The visual system actively explores visual scenes with frequent eye movements, and combines intermittent inputs to reconstruct the visual world in our mind. This project investigates the neural mechanism of this process by a combination of large-scale sampling of neural activities and advanced theoretical analyses. This is a joint effort by a theoretical neuroscience group headed by Sonja Grün and a neurophysiology group headed by Ichiro Fujita.

Development of Heterogenous Single-site Catalysts through Precise Modification of Metal-oxide Surface
Project Leader Kazushi MASHIMA, Professor, Department of Materials Engineering Science, Graduate School of Engineering Science

Visiting Researcher Christophe COPÉRET, Professor, ESC Inorganic Chemistry, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Research Period  January 1, 2014 ~ December 31, 2016
Research Outline Catalysis is a key technology of the chemical industry, allowing efficient transformation of simple starting materials into valuable products. There is always a need to further improve the efficiency of catalytic processes (activity, selectivity, stability and energy efficiency). One approach to develop more efficient heterogeneous catalysts is their rational design through a molecular approach relating to the homogeneous catalysts. The main purpose of this project is bridging the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts by deep understanding the catalytically active surface organometallis species.

Growth and developmental pattern of oral and maxillofacial structures
Project Leader Shumei MURAKAMI, Associate Professor, Oral Sciences, Graduate School of Dentistry

Visiting Researcher Sven KREIBORG, Director, Professor, 3D Craniofacial Image Research Laboratory, University of Copenhagen

Research Period  October 1, 2013 ~ September 30, 2016
Research Outline The objective is to analyze and clarify the growth and developmental pattern of oral and maxillofacial structures using MRI data of child head that were taken periodically and longitudinally.
The collected and evaluated data will become a useful and important database of growth and developmental pattern of oral and maxillofacial structures in childhood with scientific evidence.

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