Posts Categorized: Distinguished Professors

Distinguished Professor Interviews by the Research Planning Office

Distinguished Professor Interviews by the Research Planning Office

  Professor Wataru Yasui 先端物質科学研究科 三浦 道子 教授 Professor Kazuaki CHAYAMA Professor Toru SUGITATE 原爆放射線医科学研究所 神谷 研二 教授 Professor Norio IKENO 工学研究院 大下 浄治 教授 Professor Akio KURODA

Yasushi Fukazawa, astronomy

Yasushi Fukazawa, astronomy

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Yasushi Fukazawa Telescopes in Space Professor Yasushi Fukazawa is an astronomer at Hiroshima University, but his telescopes are located in outer space. Fukazawa is interested in X-rays and Gamma rays, types of light that the human eye cannot see and Earth-based telescopes are unable to detect.  Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the X-rays and Gamma rays emitted by objects in space.  To gather information about these types of energy, astronomers build telescopes and then rocket-launch them into orbit where they circle Earth as satellites.  The Hubble Space Telescope may be the most famous of this type of satellite telescope.  Traditionally, satellite telescopes primarily built in Japan are… Read more

Kazunori Imaizumi, biochemistry

Kazunori Imaizumi, biochemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Kazunori Imaizumi A Common Cause Inside the cells of animals and plants is a folded, flattened tube of membranes piled on top of themselves. Studded along portions of the inside of this tube are ribosomes, small organelles that turn messages from DNA into protein. The proteins and occasionally important fats, or lipids, travel through the tube, folded and finalized into their completed form as they go. The tube itself is the Endoplasmic Reticulum, referred to as “the ER” by scientists. If something goes awry within the ER, proteins and lipids can get backed-up, clogging the tube and causing cellular stress. Both the potential causes and… Read more

Katsuya Inoue, chemistry

Katsuya Inoue, chemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Katsuya Inoue Katusya Inoue identifies himself as a chemist, but his work blends scientific concepts that were once completely disparate.  This combination of research fields was something his 20-year-old-self hoped for, but never expected. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Science where he studies the properties of molecules that are both chiral and magnetic.  Inoue downplays the special nature of the work that happens in his laboratory, introducing the space by saying, “This is a normal organic chemistry lab.”   While a Master’s degree student at the University of Tokyo, he studied molecular magnets, which are usually made using… Read more

Hideki Ohdan, gastroenterology

Hideki Ohdan, gastroenterology

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Hideki Ohdan Distinguished Professor Hideki Ohdan identifies himself as a “surgeon scientist.” He grew up in Hiroshima city and completed a Medical Degree in 1988 and a PhD degree in 1997, both from Hiroshima University. Now, he leads an active medical practice and research laboratory at Hiroshima University Hospital. His career has focused on removing biological barriers to match organ donors with patients who need organ transplants. This project is driven by the immediate needs of clinical patients, but involves solving a larger scientific mystery: how does the immune system recognize its own body as native cells to ignore and recognize foreign cells as invaders… Read more

Toshiro Takabatake, thermoelectrics

Toshiro Takabatake, thermoelectrics

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Toshiro Takabatake “This is what we’re looking for: a material with low thermal conductivity and high electrical conductivity and that can create a high voltage.”   Distinguished Professor Toshiro Takabatake lists the facts of his research without special emphasis, relaxed in his office at Hiroshima University.  He joined the university originally in 1988 when much of the faculty was still based at the Hiroshima city campus.  He relocated to the new main campus in Saijo during the 1990s and moved between two other departments before settling in the Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter in 1998.  He has hosted many international students and faculty… Read more

Toshinori Tsuru, chemical engineering

Toshinori Tsuru, chemical engineering

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Toshinori Tsuru In the natural environment, salt mixes with water in the ocean and carbon dioxide mixes with methane in natural gas deposits.  The same mixing of molecules is common when chemists create useful compounds, as at the end of the reaction when leftover hydrogen mixes with ammonia, a chemical used in fertilizers and household cleaners.  Usually only one molecule is valuable, but separating the desired molecule from the unwanted ones at the tiny, molecular-sized scale is a complicated task.  One approach is to build a filter that only lets the desirable molecule pass through.  Professor Toshinori Tsuru is a leader in the field of… Read more

Yohsuke Yamamoto, chemistry

Yohsuke Yamamoto, chemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Yohsuke Yamamoto   Distinguished Professor Yohsuke Yamamoto is efficient in his movements around the Chemistry Department of Hiroshima University.  The hallway is dimly lit between his office stuffed with books and the seminar room used as a break room by students.  He prefers to speak in the seminar room rather than his office, but he points out that the so-called seminar room is too small to hold everyone at the weekly lab seminars he organizes for his students.  Those happen in a large lecture room at the opposite end of the hall.   Yamamoto had a strong interest in organic chemistry in high school, so… Read more

Shigeto Yamawaki, psychology

Shigeto Yamawaki, psychology

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Shigeto Yamawaki Excitement in a Black Box “The brain used to be a black box. You cannot approach the brain directly, like you can simply biopsy a tumor to study cancer.” Distinguished Professor Shigeto Yamawaki has opened up that black box over the course of his 27-year career at Hiroshima University, making important strides in advancing medical understanding of the human brain. Yamawaki leads a research project called “Center of KANSEI Innovation: Nurturing Mental Welfare”, working in collaboration with a Japanese car company and many other research institutes and manufacturing companies. The project team’s ultimate goal is to create a happy society that nurtures mental welfare,… Read more

Michitoshi Yoshida, astronomy

Michitoshi Yoshida, astronomy

“People might think the sky is constant and astronomers are always looking at the same things, but the universe is active and so dynamic.  All the time there is some explosion happening somewhere.  Every time we look at the sky there is something new to see.” The First Telescope “We were up on the roof for class experiments during my third year of university and we needed to observe the stars through tiny telescopes.  That’s what lit the fire in my heart.”   Professor Michitoshi Yoshida remembers his first introduction to astronomy with a genuine fondness.  That evening on the university roof has led to his current position at the… Read more