I was educated as a synthetic chemist but am now working in an interdisciplinary field at the chemistry-biology interface. Most of our alumni with Ph. D. degrees continue their research in academic institutions, and those with Master’s degrees work in chemical or pharmaceutical industries.
Analytical Bioorganic Chemistry
Keio University: B.S., 1988. Keio University: Ph.D., 1995 (Total synthesis of γ-pyrone-containing marine natural products, eg. Onchitriols; Thesis advisors: Drs. Shosuke Yamamura & Shigeru Nishiyama).
University of Pennsylvania: Postdoctoral Associate, 1996-97 (Postdoctoral advisor: Dr. Amos B. Smith, III: discodermolide project).
Asahi Glass Company, Yokohama: Researcher (1990-1992): F-containing chemicals.
Shizuoka University, Dept. of Chemistry, Shizuoka: Assistant Professor (1994), Associate Professor (1999).
Nagoya University, Dept. of Chemistry, Nagoya: Associate Professor (2001-2005).
Tohoku University, Grad. Sch. of Life Sciences, Sendai: Full Professor (2005- ).
|Activities in Academic Societies||
The Chemical Society of Japan; American Chemical Society; the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan; Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry; Japanese Society for Chemical Biology; Nitric Oxide Society of Japan
Advanced analytical bioorganic chemistry, Analytical bioorganic chemistry (Faculty of Agriculture), Analytical chemistry (Faculty of Agriculture), etc.
- Autophagy is a cytoprotective mechanism that degrades biomolecules, protein aggregates, or damaged organelles. We recently discovered that 8-nitro-cGMP, a nitric oxide signal mediator, is an autophagy inducer. For example, 8-nitro-cGMP modifies invading bacteria via covalent modification (S-guanylation), which accelerates elimination of the modified bacteria via ubiquitin-mediated selective autophagy. We believe that this novel mechanism will be of great importance in creating new medicines for diseases, such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.
- Vancomycin is the drug of last resort for treatment of serious nosocomial infections, and thus vancomycin-resistant bacteria (VRE, VRSA) are of great concern in clinics. We have chemically modified vancomycin to improve its potency against VRE/VRSA.
- Total synthesis of biologically active natural substances such as pinnaic acid, halichlorine, and kendomycin have been accomplished in our laboratory. We also have developed new synthesis techniques that facilitate the preparation of these biologically important substances. For example, we have discovered a very interesting dehomologation reaction that produces 1-carbon shorter carboxylic acids from the corresponding primary alcohols.
- Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) imaging allows us to investigate live animals without using radio-labeled probes. Working with researchers in Hokkaido University, we are studying useful spin probes for EPR imaging.