Research Activities

Research Activities

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Principal Investigators

Dept. of Life Science Frontiers 
Hirohide Saito (Professor)

Hirohide Saito Ph.D.

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Research Overview

Research in the synthetic biology field, which attempts to bring about new technologies by understanding life through the process of "artificially creating" biomolecules and biological systems, is becoming established worldwide. Creating artificial biomolecules that freely control the functions of cells and applying them to examinations and medical treatments is one of the research goals of this new field. Our laboratory will use the unique technology of synthetic biology that molecularly designs RNA and/or RNA-protein complexes (RNP) artificially, assuming various functions in vivo, and experimentally evolve them* in order to develop a new technology that will allow the functions and fate of target cells to be freely controlled. Moreover, along with developing such new technologies, in order to understand the evolution/creation of biological systems, we aim to experimentally approach the fundamental questions of "What is life?" and "What are the structural principals of cells?" In concrete terms, we will engage in research subjects such as those listed below.

1. Developing a detailed/dynamic technique to differentially induce iPS cells into target cells with high safety and purity using artificial RNA/RNP
2. Developing an artificial RNP switch that can detect specific protein expression and control ON/OFF of the translation of target genes
3. Developing a multifunctional RNP nanostructure that specifically perceives/detects/controls target cells

Conceptual Scheme of systhetic RNA switches
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