Molecule-Activation Chemistry for Advanced Systems Biology
To establish this new interdisciplinary field, Nagoya University has significant international competitive advantages in the requisite basic research fields such as synthetic chemistry, molecular catalysis, systems biology, plant science, peptide science, and live-cell imaging.
Molecule-Activation Chemistry: The synthetic chemistry that enables the activation and direct transformation of stable, simple molecules into useful, complex structures. This methodology can rapidly convert biologically active "lead" molecules into more selective and active derivatives.
Systems Biology: The biology to unveil the pivotal mechanism of how organisms function as a system. The discovery of key molecules operating biological systems at an individual organism level is crucial. Our systems biology is not simply comprehensive biology based on high-throughput data.
This project is closely related with the interdisciplinary fields of chemistry and biology, which include chemical biology, medicinal and agricultural chemistry, and bio-imaging technology research.
The interface of chemistry and molecular biology has already resulted in important new research fields of significant scientific impact, such as chemical biology and medicinal chemistry. We plan to bring this to a new level by exploiting newly discovered molecule-activation chemistry and focusing on fundamental biological systems of plants and animals, aiming to develop transformative bio-molecules. This research endeavor will result in a considerable ripple effect not only in the closely related fields of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, but also on many other areas that face important and urgent problems calling for sustainable solutions, such as environment, food, medical care, and bioenergy.
It should also be noted that significant ethical and safety concerns related to human health, biodiversity and the environment have been raised around genetically modified organisms. Thus, demand for chemical or biochemical-derived molecules that specifically control identified biological mechanisms is rapidly rising in medical and agricultural fields as an alternative to gene-manipulation. The need for such molecules is especially pressing in the plant science field, which has a significant potential to contribute to the solution of many global problems. ITbM is the first molecular science center wherein desired molecules for plant/animal sciences and technologies can be designed and synthesized by leading-edge chemistry.