Our laboratory aims to isolate microorganisms from various environments, and to evaluate them as useful bioresources, then to utilize their function. Through these research works, we try to gain more insights in the interaction between environmental microbes and viruses, or environmental microbes and inorganic substances by the application of molecular microbiological and enzymatic techniques. Hereto, the research is currently focusing on three major research themes:
A first major topic investigates environmental viruses infect to microorganisms live in the geothermal area (Hyperthermophiles) in relation to the horizontal gene transfer and gene exchange in geothermal environment resemble ancient earth environment. Hereby, special attention goes to the biomolecules of hyperthermophilic viruses (nucleic acids, proteins, CRISPR/Cas system, etc.) and their application to phage therapy, nano technology, gene engineering and carcinoma care.
A second topic focuses on the interaction between inorganic substances and hyperthermophilic microbes present in geothermal power plants or hot springs in relation to silica scale and sinter formation. Hereby, special attention goes to the development of molecular methods to monitor the diversity and activity of these microbes (biomineralization, environmental stress, etc.).
A third topic focuses on the utilization of microbial function (such as D-amino acid production, probiotics, morphological differentiation, etc.) with lactic acid bacteria and actinomycetes. Hereby, special attention goes to the genome-wide analysis and enzymatic engineering with NGS, UPLC, MS instruments.
Welcome Prospective Students
The laboratory offers many opportunities for International Undergraduate Programs students to learn about our discipline. We offer many courses that specifically cater to undergraduates ranging from fundamental microbiology class through to research program for Bachelor. Undergraduates also are encouraged to obtain research experience in our laboratory of the Department of Bioresource and Bioenvironment. Students interested in Microbiology and Molecular genetics should contact to us.
The laboratory recruits and trains graduate students in the Biosciences and Biotechnology Department. It is desirable students are beneficiary scholarship provided by government or funding agency such as Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT), Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
In application, the student presents a research proposal that will form the basis of the Master or Ph.D. thesis. Every student choice their thesis works from research projects laboratory offered. Hence, students are required to acquire basic knowledge and skills in molecular microbiology and genetic engineering. In the autumn of first year of Master, all students take the poster presentation based on an original research idea on some topic other than their eventual thesis project. All students are required to present their thesis work in oral at the end of course work. The normal period for completion of the MSc. or Ph.D. is 2 and 5 years, respectively.