Research at OU

International Joint Research Promotion Program

As a measure for promoting its academic initiatives, Osaka University established the International Joint Research Promotion Program in 2013. 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. Currently, 22 projects are underway.

In 2015, 14 projects were selected, bringing the total number of programs to 36. This program is a first step toward the establishment of international joint labs. These programs and lectures will give added impetus to the globalization of education and research at Osaka University.

2015-16 selected projects

Project Leader Title, Organization Joint Research Organization
CHUNG Sung Yeo Associate Professor, Graduate School of Letters Rice University (USA) Details
TOMOBE Kenichi Professor, Graduate School of Economics School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University (China); University of California, Irvine (USA) Details
MATSUNO Kenji Professor, Graduate School of Science The University of Manchester (United Kingdom) Details
MURATA Michio Professor, Graduate School of Science Åbo Akademi University (Finland) Details
SAKATA Yasushi Professor, Graduate School of Medicine King's College London (United Kingdom) Details
OKADA Yoshiaki Associate Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Harvard University Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (USA) Details
FUJIWARA Yasufumi Professor, Graduate School of Engineering University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) Details
TADA Hirokazu Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science; Director, Center for Promotion of Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Seoul National University (South Korea) Details
MIYAZAKI Fumio Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) Details
KURAHASHI Takashi Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences University of California, Davis (USA) Details
SUGANUMA Katsuaki Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research Beijing University of Technology (China) Details
YAGI Yasushi Director/Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research Carnegie Mellon University (USA) Details
TAMII Atsushi Associate Professor, Research Center for Nuclear Physics Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) Details
TONOUCHI Masayoshi Professor, Institute of Laser Engineering Rice University (USA) Details
Explorations of Functional Grammar in Terms of Nominalization Phenomena
Project Leader Sung-Yeo CHUNG, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Letters
Visiting Researcher Masayoshi Shibatani, Professor, Department of Linguistics, Rice University
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Through explorations of the recent cognitive-functional approach to linguistics, this project aims to change the research paradigm in linguistics from the Chomskyan philosophical theory of language, which has dominated the field for more than fifty years, to a more empirical language science. Based on the research on nominalization phenomena and bringing together the research team of Professor Masayoshi Shibatani of Rice University, a leading figure in the field, and researchers from both Graduate School of Letters and Graduate School of Language and Culture, this project strives to strengthen research capability in the field of language studies at Osaka University and also to promote research publications abroad.

Comparative social science of demography, anthropometrics and economic development in modern Japan and China
Project Leader Kenichi TOMOBE, Professor, Graduate School of Economics
Visiting Researcher Wang Feng, Professor, School of Social Development & Public Policy, Fudan University; Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Irvine
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline The aim of the research project is to compare the historical path of anthropometric growth and that of economic development measured by real per capita income based on the reliable statistical data of modern Japan and China and to appeal the existence of both countries as co-leader of the Asian area to the world.

Roles of cross-talk between Notch signaling and Toll signaling in early embryogenesis
Project Leader Kenji MATSUNO, Professor, Graduate School of Science
Visiting Researcher Baron Martin, Senior Lecturer, Life Sciences, University of Manchester
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Research group of Kenji Matsuno (Department of Biological Sciences) and Martin Baron (University of Manchester) proposed an idea that the formation of dorsal-ventral axis of Drosophila embryos is regulated by cross-talk between Notch and Toll signaling pathways.  In this collaboration, we will understand the mechanisms of this cross-talk and its roles in the formation of dorsal-ventral axis, by using bio-imaging analysis and system biology.

International Collaboration for Developing Biomembrane Model Systems
Project Leader Michio MURATA, Professor, Graduate School of Science
Visiting Researcher Slotte Johan Peter, Professor, Department of Biosciences, Åbo Akademi University
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Biological membrane is a last frontier in the field of bioscience, and precise physicochemical research of the lipid bilayer is required to elucidate biological mechanisms. Åbo Akademi University in Finland and we combine the own expertise to establish technical platforms for organizing novel models of the biological membranes toward the development for artificial cell membranes.

Innovation of Bedside-oriented Research of Cardiology by Integrated Imaging
Project Leader Yasushi SAKATA, Professor, Graduate School of Medicine
Visiting Researcher Kinya Otsu, Professor, Cardiovascular Division, King's College London; Professor/Chair of Cardiology, British Heart Foundation
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Cardiac disease is one of the leading causes of death in Japan. The aim of this project is to establish a novel circulatory research oriented from clinical questions which are obtained only by thorough examination of patients. Prof. Otsu is a world-famous expert in the basic research of cardiology. We will bring together our expertise to elucidate clinical questions by using integrated imaging in collaboration with Prof. Otsu. This study will provide new concept for treatment of cardiac diseases.

A novel anti-inflammatory strategy by targeting endothelial cells
Project Leader Yoshiaki OKADA, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Visiting Researcher Willam C. Aird, Professor, Harvard Medical School; Director, Center for Vascular Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Recent reports indicate importance of a vascular system as well as an immune system for the induction of inflammatory diseases. A goal of this study is to establish a novel anti-inflammatory strategy by targeting an endothelial cell-specific receptor. To that end, we analyze unique functions of the receptor and generate molecules that inhibit the receptor function.

Elucidation of luminescence mechanism in rare-earth-doped semiconductors
Project Leader Yasufumi FUJIWARA, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering
Visiting Researcher Tom Gregorkiewicz, Professor, Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline In Osaka University we perfected the growth of Eu-doped GaN layers of superior crystalline quality, and demonstrated the first low-voltage current-injected red light-emitting diode (LED) based on these materials. This project builds on these accomplishments and aims to increase the brightness of the device to the level enabling its wide scale application. In collaboration with a world-leading research group on optoelectronic materials in University of Amsterdam, we will map the energy transfer from injected carriers to Eu ions and purposefully manipulate it at every step for the maximum efficiency.

Development of Organic Magnetoresitance Devices
Project Leader Hirokazu TADA, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science; Director, Center for Promotion of Advanced Interdisciplinary Research
Visiting Researcher Soo Young Park, Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University; Director, Center for Supramolecular Optoelectronic Materials
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline The aim of this project is to clarify the origin of organic magnetoresitance (OMAR) effects and to provide guiding principles for development of OMAR devices. Organic materials for OMAR are designed and synthesized in SNU, and Device performances are investigated in OU. Frequent visits of students and staffs in two institutions next door accelerate the researches and achieve a new insight in the fields related.

Robotic Therapy after Stroke: Exercise Interventions Based on Assessment of Muscle Synergies
Project Leader Fumio MIYAZAKI, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science
Visiting Researcher Hermano Igo Krebs, Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Robotic therapy, especially for lower extremity function, currently stands at the early stage of development. The next generation of robot-aided neuro-rehabilitation requires assessing the effect of interventions correctly and collecting clinical evidence to develop an efficacious intervention. Stroke rehabilitation requires motor coordination. By combining the method of “synergy assessment” and the “robotic therapy” developed by the Osaka University and MIT researchers' team, we will attempt to develop a novel robotic-intervention test and validate it in the framework of synergies.

Modulation of signal transduction system in the nano-biological structure
Project Leader Takashi KURAHASHI, Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
Visiting Researcher Chen Tsung-Yu, Professor, Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Our target is the olfactory transduction channels (CNG, Cl). Hitherto known experimental difficulties have been existing because these are expressed on the nano-scale cilia. In this collaboration research, we will overcome these technical difficulties and investigate the modulation of channel activities for the olfactory perception.

The study of reliability of metal nanowires based on graphene materials
Project Leader Katsuaki SUGANUMA, Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research
Visiting Researcher Wang Hao, Professor, The College of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Technology
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Silver nanowires (AgNW), as ideal replacement for ITO film, is easily corroded due to exposure to air or ultraviolet that drastically decreased the performance of electrodes. In order to avoid the deterioration, a thin and transparent graphene film is selected and combined with AgNW to improve the stability and achieve new properties.

International Collaborative Research of Human Sensing
Project Leader Yasushi YAGI, Director/Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research
Visiting Researcher Kanade Takeo, U.A. and Helen Whitaker University Professor, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline This program focuses on human behavior analysis and cell image processing by international collaboration with Prof. Takeo Kanade, who is the U.A. and Helen Whitaker University Professor of Carnegie Mellon University and is an authority of computer vision. We propose a new framework that copes with first person views as well as surveillance views for human behavior analysis. As for cell image processing, we develop automatic cell counting method. Moreover, training of students and young researchers, improvement of quality of research papers, and increase of visibility of Osaka University are also objectives of this program.

Electric Dipole Response in Nuclei, Neutron Skins and Neutron Stars
Project Leader Atsushi TAMII, Associate Professor, Research Center for Nuclear Physics
Visiting Researcher Peter von Neumann-Cosel, Professor, Institute for Nuclear Physics, Technical University Darmstadt
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline The research aims at studying the electric dipole response of nuclei, determining the neutron skin thicknesses, and extracting the information on the neutron matter equation of state that is indispensable for understanding the internal structure of neutron stars. LaBr3 scintillation detectors will be moved to RCNP as a joint project between RCNP and TU-Darmstadt to which the invited research belongs. The electric dipole response of nuclei will be experimentally determined by combining the high-quality beam and high-resolution spectrometer at RCNP with the LaBr3 detectors.

Exploring Terahertz Functionalities and Applications of 2D Materials
Project Leader Masayoshi TONOUCHI, Professor, Institute of Laser Engineering
Visiting Researcher Kono Junichiro, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Research Period April 1, 2015 ~ March 31, 2018
Research Outline Owing to the success of graphene research, the idea of engineering two-dimensional (2D), atomically thin layers of materials has become compelling. Laser Terahertz Emission Microscope (LTEM) is a unique tool that can dynamically investigate photoexcited carriers in materials and devices. In this research we apply the LTEM to investigate the electric and optical properties at the surface and interface of 2D atomic layers, and explore the new functionalities for THz devices.

 

2014-15 selected projects

Project leader Title, Organization Joint research organization
OSAKA Mariko
Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences California State University (USA)
Ersta Sköndal University College (Sweden)
Fordham University (USA)
Details
HIGAKI Tatsuya Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences Paris West University Nanterre La Défense (France) Details
KATOU Kazuto
Professor, Graduate School of Medicine University of Oxford (UK) Details
KAWATA Satoshi
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (Morocco) Details
SEKI Shu Professor, Graduate School of Engineering University of Washington (USA) Details
SUGITA Yoneyuki
Professor, Graduate School of Language and Culture
1. The Finnish Institute of International Relations (Finland)
2. George Mason University (USA)
3. Northwestern University (USA)
4. European Institute of Japanese Studies (Sweden)
Details
IKAWA Masahito Professor, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases Baylor College of Medicine (USA) Details

 

Details of the above-mentioned projects

Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Gerontology Studies Aiming to Develop A Care Welfare Service for Successful Aging in the Super-Aging Elderly
Project Leader Mariko OSAKA, Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences
Visiting Researcher Hideya Koshino, Professor, Department of Psychology, California State University
Victor Pestoff, Professor, Institute of Civil Society, Ersta Sköndal University College
Daniela Jopp, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Fordham University
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Facing a super-aging society, it is critical to main a healthy mind for elderly people. The present study aims to unveil changes in cognitive function, self-esteem as well as feeling of well-being associated with aging, and propose welfare services that make successful aging come true with empirical evidences. For the goal, researchers in the multiple-disciplinary fields stand in groups, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology, aging psychology, welfare policy studies, and social gerontology.

Establishing a Center for Academic Exchange in Human Sciences Between France and Japan: With a Focus in Philosophy, Social Pedagogy, and Clinical Psychology
Project Leader Tatsuya HIGAKI, Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences
Visiting Researcher Anne Sauvagnargues, Professeur, Université de Paris 10, Ouest Nanterre
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline The aim of this project is to establish a center for academic exchange in the field of Human Sciences between France and Japan, in particular the contemporary philosophy laboratories at the Osaka University Faculty of Human Sciences and Paris  University 10,  West Nanterre La Défense. Research will be conducted from a transdisciplinary standpoint, incorporating philosophy, social pedagogy, and clinical psychology; and the results we present will focus on the reorganization of the individual and community in a post-global age.

Framework for a collaborative medical research governance between researchers and research participants
Project Leader Kazuto KATO, Professor, Department of Biomedical Research and Public Policy, Graduate School of Medicine
Visiting Researcher Jane Kaye, Director, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX), University of Oxford
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline In the aging society of Japan, there are high expectations for medical research. To promote such research, it is necessary to collect many samples and data from patients and members of the general public, but there are arguments that traditional methods such as one time ethics review and informed consent are not working effectively. This project, by combining expertise and experiences in the UK and Japan, aims to establish a foundation for a new governance mechanism for medical research by making a model interface system for active and continuous communication between medical researchers and research participants with the aid of information and communication technology (ICT). 

Nano-functional Photonics: study of new nano optical/photonic functions originating from the interaction of photon and nano-structured materials 
Project Leader Satoshi KAWATA, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering
Visiting Researcher Sekkat Zouheir, Director, The Optics & Photonics Center, The Moroccan Foundation for Science Innovation and Research (MAScIR)
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Photonics, the successor to electronics in the 20th century, is now moving into the spotlight to lead science, industry, and society in the 21st century. By this research project, searched and studied are new nano optical/photonic functions originating from the interaction of photon and nano-structured materials. We, in the fields of physics, chemistry, biotechnology, electrotechnology, and devices jointly promote research and education on this new department crossing target: Nano-functional Photonics and contribute to development of the 8th division of the Institute for Academic Initiatives, Osaka University. Encouraged are intimate research discussions among young researchers of the Moroccan Institute/University and Osaka University, expansion of research/educational network, and development of young talented nano-photonics researchers.

Quest of unusual electronic functionality of organic semiconductors by essential evaluation on material properties
Project Leader Shu SEKI, Professor, Department of Chemistry,
Graduate School of Engineering
Visiting Researcher Samson A. Jenekhe, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline Towards the realization of high performance photoelectric conversion system, we conduct the joint research with Prof. S. A. Jenekhe on the basis of our novel microwave conductivity measurement technique specially-designed for organic photovoltaics. Prof. S. A. Jenekhe’s group has investigated pi-conjugated polymers and their electronic devices, for example molecular wire and non-fullerene electron transporting molecules. However, expected properties are not always revealed, due to the complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Throughout this project, we intend to accelerate the cutting-edge research by the fruitful collaboration between the material chemists from the collaborators and physical chemists from our group, leading to an initiative of organic conductive materials development in Osaka University and University of Washington.

Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region: Multi-layered Analysis toward Formation of International Code of Conduct and Norm
Project Leader Yoneyuki SUGITA, Professor, Graduate School of Language and Culture
Visiting Researchers 1. Bart Gaens, Senior Research Fellow, Global Security Research Programme, The Finnish Institute of International Relations
2. John Paden, Clarence Robinson Professor of International Studies, Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
3. Laura Hein, Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University
4. Marie Söderberg, Director, European Institute of Japanese Studies
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline The purpose of this project is to examine our hypothesis: that it is necessary to formulate international behavioral norms in order to establish and to be able to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Our comprehensive research in these areas will try to test this hypothesis through analyzing three relevant areas, which include: the domestic, regional, and international factors, which may affect the formulation of international behavioral norms in the Asia-Pacific region. We expect to find durable international behavioral norms in this region by extracting the most important relationships, and also those with the highest relevance among the three affecting factors that are mentioned above. Our extensive research within these three areas will help us to present a balanced argument that will support the hypothesis that we are proposing.  

Infertililty related gene function analysis using knockout mice
Project Leader Masahito IKAWA, Professor, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases
Visiting Researcher Martin M. Matzuk, Professor, Department of Pathology & Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine
Research Period April 1, 2014 ~ March 31, 2017
Research Outline We propose to define the reproductive functions of novel testis-specific secreted and transmembrane proteins using gene disruption strategies. In this proposal, we will bring together our expertise in bioinformatics and manipulation of the mouse genome to characterize these human infertility related genes. These fundamental studies will provide future tools for the discovery and development of drugs for both contraception and treatment of infertility.

 

2013-14 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)

University of Michigan (U.S.A.)

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
 (China)

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 above-mentioned projects

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 of 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 of 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.

Research

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