Research Information

  • Print only the body of the page. Set to print background colors and images.
  • Print the whole page. Set to print background colors and images.

FURUKAWA Koichi

 

Elucidation of Chronic Inflammation and Development of Preventive and Preemptive Medicine

  In the period from 2008 to 2012, “Strategic research on the prediction and prevention of diseases associated with lifestyle/environmental factors (commonly called the Health Science Hills project),” a Strategic Research Foundation Grant-aided Project for Private Universities, was implemented mainly by the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Life and Health Sciences. The project, which placed particular emphasis on the prediction and prevention of the onset of new infections, metabolic disorders, malignant tumors, and neurodegenerative disorders, achieved significant results. Following the research, multilevel research projects with the main focus on chronic inflammation induced by lifestyle/environmental factors have been established.

  Chubu University has proposed a research project built on the results of these multilevel research projects, whose aim is the “elucidation of chronic inflammation and the development of preventive and preemptive medicine through the integration of medicine and engineering.” Our efforts are focused on gathering various opinions from different sections of the university so that we can establish and improve a system that facilitates the implementation of the project in such a way as to fittingly represent Chubu University.

  Due to the super-aging population in Japan, a rapidly increasing number of people have been diagnosed with malignant tumors, neurological/psychiatric disorders and metabolic disorders. It has been revealed that a common factor leading to these intractable diseases is biological reaction to stressful stimuli induced by external and internal environmental factors. In other words, inflammatory responses and their prolongation serve as the starting point of these diseases. Despite this finding, however, their primary causes and preventive measures to control their occurrence have scarcely been identified.

  The objectives of the project are to identify initial inflammatory signals, develop a highly sensitive inflammation detection method, elucidate the mechanism involved in prolonged chronic inflammation, and develop methods to control the inflammation as well as preventive and preemptive medicine. The final goal of the project is to achieve a comfortable life after retirement and healthy longevity.

  In preceding projects, many basic research resources have been developed, such as a molecular identification technique by mass spectrometry, technology to obtain and apply information on nucleic acids, the creation of animal models of diseases, and analytic technology. In addition to these resources, in order to ensure the prevention and control of diseases, it is essential not only to medically understand the molecules involved in inflammatory responses and inflammatory chronic processes, but also to develop highly sensitive detection methods and measurement techniques for inflammatory responses, highly precise analytical technology for inflammatory conditions, and precise novel inflammation control technology. This means that it is essential to conduct interdisciplinary research from a broad perspective, taking a molecular medicine approach dealing with genes, proteins and sugar chains combined with engineering and applied biological approaches.

  Our efforts will be focused on creating a new disciplinary field where knowledge, measurement and application are integrated through cooperation between specialists in engineering observation and measurement, which is the tradition of Chubu University, and specialists in molecular science for life and health. It is our hope that such a discipline will serve as the basis for developing and educating biological specialists who will play an active role in the near future and contribute to promoting the health of residents in local communities. With this in mind, our focus is on creating an advanced, interdisciplinary research center.

Biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory at Health Science Hills
Biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory at Health Science Hills

Early-stage colon cancer
Early-stage colon cancer
Addressing the process from inflammation to cancer and to neurodegeneration

Integrated model of the glycolipid Gb4 and the lipopolysaccharide receptor (MOE)
Integrated model of the glycolipid Gb4 and the lipopolysaccharide receptor (MOE) : The entire glycolipid binds to the pocket of MD-2 (in gray).

FURUKAWA Koichi

FURUKAWA Koichi
Ph. D. in medical Science
Director
Research Institute for Life and Health Sciences
Professor

Department of Lifelong Sports and Health Sciences, College of Life and Health Sciences
Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology

PROFILE
Graduated from the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nagoya University
Doctor of Medicine
Field of Study: Biochemistry, Oncology, Glycobiology
Research Topic: Elucidation of function of complex carbohydrates and therapeutic application
 

Page Top