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Researcher's Profile

Professor
Akimitsu OKAMOTO

Bioorganic Chemistry

Biography

1999. 04   Research Associate, Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Faculty of
                Engineering, Kyoto University 
2006. 04   Unit Leader, Okamoto Initiative Research Unit, Advanced Science Institute(Frontier Research
                System, 2006-2007),RIKEN 
2011. 04   Associate Chief Scientist, Nucleic Acid Chemistry Laboratory, Advanced Science Institute,
                RIKEN 
2012. 01   Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The Univesity
                of Tokyo(UTokyo) 
2012. 04   Professor, RCAST, UTokyo

Research Interests

How are our bodies created from atoms and molecules? We systematically investigate how the atoms and building blocks of biopolymers (nucleic acids and proteins) participate in biological phenomena, introducing synthetic chemistry-based ideas into biological and genetic studies. Research in our group is concerned with diverse aspects of the design and function of biopolymers on an atomic scale. The focus is on the design, synthesis and physical properties of new, man-made biopolymers with various functions. Also included is the design of unprecedented organic chemical systems for recognizing, transforming and visualizing a single component or atom in biopolymers of interest. These researches are the fundamental studies reflecting the essence of life science on an atomic scale and the material-developing studies to get useful functional materials for the latest studies on life sciences and medical technologies. Current projects include:
(1) Visualizing the variable behavior of nucleic acid molecules in living cells
(2) Catching the key of gene expression by developing targetspecific chemical reactions
(3) Creating new cellula r function control system by synthesizing superbiopolymers containing unnatural nucleotides and amino acids

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