Posts Categorized: Distinguished Researchers

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Kazuyoshi Ukena

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Kazuyoshi Ukena

Can you introduce yourself please? My name is Kazuyoshi Ukena, my specialty in neuroendocrinology – I focus on hormones in the brain. What are you working on now? I’m investigating never before documented neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are proteins used by neuronal cells to pass signals from one to another. I have recently found a new one in the hypothalamus, the brain control center, and we have found that it controls food intake and fat accumulation – so it has major implications for society as we try to tackle the obesity crises. The animals we investigate are rats, chickens, mice and sometimes fish and frogs. What are you most proud of in… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Kiyofumi Katagiri

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Kiyofumi Katagiri

Can you tell me your name and specialist subject? My name is Kiyofumi Katagiri. My major is materials chemistry focusing on hybrid materials and nanomaterials. What are you working on right now? One of my focuses is structural color. Usually we think of color as formed from dyes or pigments, which absorb certain light wavelengths, but structural color is different – it is caused by molecules scattering light at different wavelengths. For example, opal stones are very colorful when held up to the light and this color results from the opal’s nanoscale structure. We prepare such colors artificially. Opals change color depending on the angle they are viewed from How… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Yousuke Ooyama

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Yousuke Ooyama

What is your name and specialist field? My name is Yousuke Ooyama and my research field is functional-dye chemistry. Functional dye chemistry investigates pigments and their potential for use in applications such as organic light emitting devices and organic solar cells. I also work on developing organic compounds that emit color when excited by stimuli. Essentially, I try to make the world a better place through color! Is this a new field of study? Yes, we are growing. Our laboratory at HU began operating this year, and is made up of myself and an associate professor. We will take in our first international student this autumn. Can you tell me… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Hiromitsu Takahashi

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Hiromitsu Takahashi

What is your name and specialty? My name is Hiromitsu Takahashi, I study high-energy astrophysics. Mainly I observe celestial sources using satellites and balloons. What are you working on right now? Currently we are developing a new type of satellite – it’s not so large, about 50kg, but it’s something very special. What we want to achieve cannot be done using anything larger. Why are these small satellites so useful? We are observing bright objects, but the direction they appear from is unpredictable. They could appear anywhere in the sky, perhaps once-per-day, but we really don’t know where to look. Therefore, we need to launch many small satellites to cover… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Tsunefumi Mizuno

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Tsunefumi Mizuno

What is your name and specialty? My name is Tsunefumi Mizuno. I study high-energy phenomenon in the universe, mainly those in our own Milky Way galaxy. I am particularly interested in galactic cosmic rays – their origin and propagation. What are cosmic rays? Galactic cosmic rays are high-energy charged particles – protons, electrons and others that are so energetic they travel close to the speed of light. They are generated somewhere in the universe, somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, likely by stars which have collapsed such as neutron stars and black holes, or from the explosion of massive stars. They travel through space between stars and, a small fraction… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Takeshi Ikeda

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Takeshi Ikeda

Can you tell me your name and specialty? My name is Takeshi Ikeda. I study biomineralization – the process by which organisms produce inorganic materials. In particular, I focus on silica biomineralization in bacteria. Silica, also known as silicon dioxide, and silicon in its pure form, is widely used in industry. Although silica biomineralization has been intensively investigated in diatoms, sponges, and higher plants – in bacteria, it was largely ignored until recently. Although, in the 1960s some researchers did study silicon utilization by bacteria, when we tried to reproduce their results we were not successful. This led to our current quest to find bacteria that can synthesize silica. So… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Takasi Ogi

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Takasi Ogi

What is your name and specialty? My name is Takasi Ogi. I research the development of nanostructured particles and materials. One of the main aims is to maximize the potential of material recovery. Why is this necessary? You see Japan has limited resources. We don’t have precious metals such as platinum or tungsten etcetera – so we need to recover metals like these from, what is termed, “urban mines”. Other countries might have natural mines from which to source valuable materials but Japan does not. What we do have is a lot of scrap! These scrap resources are what we call urban mines. We try to recover useful metals from… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Toru Hosoi

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Toru Hosoi

  Can you tell me your name and specialist field? My name is Toru Hosoi. My specialty is pharmaceutical science – specifically pharmacology and clinical pharmacology. I try to understand how medical drugs work with the ultimate aim of finding new drugs. In order to develop such an understanding we first need to investigate the molecular biology involved in disease – I use techniques to resolve this. What are you working on now? Endoplasmic reticular stress (ERS). This involves looking at organelles (the specialized structures within cells), and their reaction to stress exposure. Cells and the human body are constantly exposed to stresses and this reduces the function of the… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Jun Wasaki

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Jun Wasaki

What is your name and specialist field? My name is Jun Wasaki. My major fields are plant nutrition – and also soil microbiology What are you working on right now? I’m focusing on phosphorous. Phosphorous is one of the major elements required for plant nutrition – but phosphorous sources are seriously depleted. Production of phosphorous-based fertilizer will peak in the next ten-20 years, after which it will decrease rapidly. However, phosphorous does still exist – it is accumulated in the soil where it has been applied, so I hope to find ways to efficiently utilize it. How will you do this? I need to focus on how plants function, in… Read more

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Yutaka Nakashimada

An interview with Distinguished Researcher Yutaka Nakashimada

    What is your name and specialist field? My name is Yutaka Nakashimada. My focus is on energy recovery from various kinds of biomass – specifically biogas. How did you get involved in this subject? I came to it via a very traditional route. A former professor of mine was interested in researching biogas production; I become an assistant professor in that university and I continued this research. I have been involved for over 20 years now so I have achieved a lot in that time. Can you tell me about some of those achievements? I have developed ways to produce biogas from unconventional sources. You know biogas is… Read more