Kenji Monde Ph. D Director of Frontier-PST
Hokkaido University has made enormous efforts in innovating its organizations and improving its education and research systems to support the academic activities. “Graduate School of Life Science (GSLS)” and “Faculty of Advanced Life Science (FALS)” were founded as new interdisciplinary organizations in April 2006 in order for the university to fuse outstanding scientist and staffs from many existing departments and institutes under the concept of challenging the new education and research of life science. As the core organization of research in FALS, our Frontier Research Center for Post-Genome Science and Technology (Frontier-PST) also made its start in 2006. Over the passed nine years, our center has successfully achieved its contribution to the university in leading the research and education of life science field. Aiming on a mid-term destination of the “innovation project” planned by Hokkaido University, Frontier-PST is now undertaking its reconstruction and reinforcement for further improvement. The Frontier-PST has not only a function of applied science center of GSLS, but also we have now made our restart with the expectation to become a new research organization performing worldwide level studies and creating advanced technologies in the near future.
Frontier-PST locates in the Hokkaido University Research & Business Park (HUR&BP), and consists of 4 main hubs: They are “Biomedical science & Drug discovery Hub”, “Protein structure Hub”, “Bio-Imaging Hub” and “Biomics Hub”. Full-time staffs and collaborators, which come from other departments and institutes, are in charge of their own operations. Our research interest is on understanding the phenomena of life based on the studies of organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and structural biology. Supporting by the advanced technologies including the NMR, mass spectrograph, bioinformatics and bio-imaging system, we are studying the structure, function and molecular mechanism of glycoconjugates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. As the application of our research, we are conducting the development of new drugs, materials for functional foods and the discovery of biomarkers for cancers and genetic disorders. In particular, national research projects including “The Matching Program for Innovations in Future Drug Discovery and Medical Care” (the third term), special research and education program for the Frontier-PST “the COE Program for the Diagnosis and Prevention Utilizing the Next-generation Post-genome Science and Technology” (the second term), are currently running in our center.
Great success with excellent outcomes are being expected world-widely. Another achievement that I would like to introduce is that SHIONOGI & CO., LTD., a pharmaceutical company has built its medical research institute (Shionogi Innovation Center for Drug Discovery) adjacent to Frontier-PST in 2008. Since then, a new type of collaboration between a private company and a national university has been started. During this period, our researchers were able to have valuable experiences to work and study “face to face” with their industrial partners. As a consequence, it is now strongly expected to have new developments from those major on-going research collaborations. Furthermore, a new research center named “Platform for Research on Biofunctional Molecules” was opened in the HUR&BP in 2011, and also a new research building for “the Food & Medical Innovation International Hub” for the industry-university cooperation has been completed in the neighborhood in 2015 FY. Cooperation among these different research centers, institutes and industrial private companies in HDB&RP is becoming more and more important for the research and education system in Hokkaido University.
Kenji Monde Ph. D
Director of Frontier-PST