Research Overview

 “Liver”, “Stress” and “Imaging” are the important terms in our laboratory.

Although three keywords appear to be independent, these are all associated with each other. In fact, we conduct the research about a hepatic pathological condition (especially, the stress response of liver) using an optical bioimaging method.

Our group aims to study acute and/or chronic stress in the liver, and the pathological conditions we are focusing here are listed as follows; ischemia/reperfusion injury, inflammation, cell proliferation/growth/death, fatty metamorphosis, fibrosis and aging liver. Further research topics such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, hepatic inflammation, cirrhosis and aging, will of course be derived from ones listed above. It means that several diseases and pathological conditions will be systematically studied based on the fundamental findings on liver stress responses.

1) Molecular mechanism of stress response and adaptation

2) Liver physiopathology and its systemic impact (a comprehensive study of cell/organ function and whole body conditions)

3) Optic imaging: non-invasive/continuous visualization of molecular function and its application for evaluation of cell/organ atmospheres and diagnosis/therapy

The following research facilities are concertedly conducting the research works.

Laboratory of Molecular and Functional Bio-Imaging (LMFBI), Health Innovation & Technology Center (HITEC), Graduate school of Health Sciences

In April 2013, Laboratory of Molecular and Functional Bio-Imaging (LMFBI) was set up for the purpose of the contribution to health & medical care through the development and application of visualizing techniques for in vivo environments/function of biomolecules.
It consists of the central research institute described below and the central research division at Graduate school of Health Sciences.
An optical imaging technique enables to monitor various biological events non-invasively, continuously and dynamically, and we have been developing several “optical probes” to visualize the in vivo environments and molecules. The technique has the advantage that the devices needed are relatively small and moderate price, whereas the conventional ones which obtain a morphological information, usually occupy big space. By designing the optical probes, qualitative/functional information of many bio-molecules can be monitored at the macro level.
Currently we are conducting the collaborative research works with internal and external researchers in a cross-disciplinary way. Our works set a target for the understanding of life phenomena, physiology and pathology in living bodies, organs, cells in terms of the health & medical care. In addition, the very-early detection of deep-seated tumors are of the purpose.
Furthermore, we are also working on the control of molecular function by using light as a tool, which will help diabetes treatments (prevention), organ or biofunctional regulations as well as anti-aging.

“Bioimaging Laboratory” “Medical Optics Collaborative Laboratory Hokkaido Univ. & AIST” (E407)(former name: Laboratory for stress research)

We have established a new laboratory for bioimaging research in spring, 2014. Here we are working on cellular signal transductions and pathophysiological research. The slogan, “Overcoming a stress on the human body in daily life” is set as our main research goal in the lab. The response of the body against unavoidable and continuous stress will be studied, and we believe that the outcome make it possible to contribute to the human society and people living in stressful environments. For the purpose, we are engaging a development of optical probes and studying stress responses in living cells using optical imaging method for the purpose of elucidating the relationship between stresses and disease development. In the future, we would like to develop this newly established laboratory to be a platform for building an infrastructure for the research and education in the field of healthcare.

plate reader

lumino-image analyzer

Bio-Zero fluorescence microscope

Kronos-Dio luminescence measurement device

7th floor, Central Research Institute, Graduate school of Medicine and