Molecular and Chemical Life Science :
Multilevel Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics


Professor (Cross Appointment) YONEKURA Koji
Campus Katahira campus
Laboratory Structural Mechanism Research and Development
E-mail koji.yonekura.a5@tohoku.ac.jp
1997       Graduate School of Biosciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology Ph. D.
1997       Research Associate, International Institute for Advanced Research,
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
1997 - 2001     Researcher, Group Leader, JST ERATO Protonic Nano Machine Project
2002 - 2005     Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
2004 - 2008     Keck Fellow, University California San Francisco
2008 - 2018     Associate Chief Scientist, Chief Scientist, Biostructural Mechanism Laboratory, RIKEN SPring-8 Center
2018 -     Group Director, as above
2018 -     Unit Leader, Advanced Electron Microscope Development Unit, as above
2020 -     Professor, IMRAM, Tohoku University (cross appointment)
Selected Publications
1. Yonekura K., Maki-Yonekura S., Naitow H., Hamaguchi T., Takaba K. Machine learning-based real-time object locator / evaluator for cryo-EM data collection. Commun. Biol. 2021, 4, 1044.
2. Maki-Yonekura S., Hamaguchi T., Naitow H., Takaba K., Yonekura K. Advances in cryo-EM and ED with a cold-field emission beam and energy filtration: - refinements of the CRYO ARM 300 system in RIKEN SPring-8 Center –. Microscopy 2021, 70, 232–240.
3. Takaba K., Maki-Yonekura S., Inoue S., Hasegawa T., Yonekura K. Protein and organic-molecular crystallography with 300kV electrons on a direct electron detector. Front. Mol. Biosci. 2021, 7, 612226.
4. Naitow H., Hamaguchi T., Maki-Yonekura S., Yoshikawa N., Isogai M., Yonekura K. Apple latent spherical virus structure with stable capsid frame supports quasi-stable protrusions expediting genome release. Commun. Biol. 2020, 3, 488.
5. Hamaguchi T., Maki-Yonekura S., Naitow H., Matsuura Y., Ishikawa T., Yonekura K. A new cryo-EM system for single particle analysis. J. Struct. Biol. 2019, 207, 40-48.
6. Yonekura K., Ishikawa T, Maki-Yonekura S. A new cryo-EM system for electron 3D crystallography. J. Structl. Biol. 2019, 206, 243-253.
Activities in Academic Societies
The Biophysical Society of Japan; The Japanese Society of Microscopy
Advanced molecular and chemical biology seminar III (Multilevel biomolecular structure and dynamics)

Recent Activities

Our cryo-EM analyses have revealed hydrogen properties and charges in protein and organic molecules. To realize and utilize such new possibilities, we have developed related technologies including AI data collection. We also use synchrotron radiation and computational science to elucidate detailed structural mechanisms of those molecules.

Message to Students

Anything that appears a detour first may be useful in the future. I feel this through my research carrier. If there are many difficulties in your study, you will be able to try many challenges and even unnoticeable studies may turn into a hot research area.  Let’s enjoy challenges.