Chemical BiologyMedicine and Medical Science

Ph.D. Professor Motonari Uesugi

As biological processes all stem from chemical events, it should be possible to understand or manipulate biological events by using chemistry. As chemical biologists our challenge is to discover or design unique organic molecules, 'super tools' that modulate fundamental processes in human cells. Using these 21st-century super tools, we can explore complex cellular events and ultimately revolutionize the fight against the most difficult diseases and medical challenges of the age.

Lab Website

Research and Education

Our job is creation: designing a new world of bioactive synthetic molecules with unique and novel uses, forms, and sizes. The future for small-molecule applications is open before us in a range of fields, including future drug discovery, cell therapy, and material-pharmaceutical interface. Our laboratory also provides rigorous research-based training for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, immunology, cell biology, and proteomics, and the investigators in the laboratory have distinct backgrounds. Our educational mission is to produce independent scientists who generate original ideas to solve pressing health problems.

r-081-1 1) Discovery, synthesis, and biological use of bioactive small molecules

2)Exploring a new world of bioactive synthetic molecules

Recent Publications

  1. Toh, K., Nishio, K., Nakagawa, R., Egoshi, S., Abo, M., Perron, A., Sato, S., Okumura, N., Koizumi, N., Dodo, K., Sodeoka, M., Uesugi, M. Chemoproteomic Identification of Blue-Light-Damaged Proteins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144(44), 20171–20176 (2022).
  2. Nishio, K., Toh, K., Perron, A., Goto, M., Abo, M., Shimakawa, Y., Uesugi, M. Magnetic Control of Cells by Chemical Fabrication of Melanin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144(37), 16720–16725 (2022).
  3. Takemoto, Y., Kadota, S., Minami, I., Otsuka, S., Okuda, S., Abo, M., Punzalan, L., Shen, Y., Shiba, Y., Uesugi, M. Chemical Genetics Reveals a Role of Squalene Synthase in TGFβ Signaling and Cardiomyogenesis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 60(40), 21824-21831 (2021).
  4. Jin, S., Vu, H., Hioki, K., Noda, N., Yoshida, H., Shimane, T., Ishizuka, S., Takashima, I., Mizuhata, Y., Pe, K., Ogawa, T., Nishimura, N., Packwood, D., Tokitoh, N., Kurata, H., Yamasaki, S., Ishii, K., Uesugi, M. Discovery of Self‐Assembling Small Molecules as Vaccine Adjuvants. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 60(2), 961-969 (2021).
  5. Takemoto, Y., Mao, D., Punzalan, LL., Götze, S., Sato, SI., Uesugi, M. Discovery of a Small-Molecule-Dependent Photolytic Peptide. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 142(3), 1142-1146 (2020).


Professor Motonari Uesugi
Associate Professor Masahiro Abo
Assistant Professor Kosuke Nishio

Tel: +81-774-38-3225
Fax: +81-774-38-3226

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