Forefront Research CenterForefront Research Center

Cross-Disciplinary Project Research Division

Core for Collaborative Research: RIKEN and Graduate School of Science, Osaka University

Advancement of world-leading scientific research by fusing cumulative achievements of researchers in synthesis and isolation technologies

This project promotes the advancement of world-leading scientific research by fusing the cumulative achievements of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) of the National Research and Development Agency in structural analysis technology with those of Osaka University School of Science researchers in synthesis and isolation technologies. The RIKEN Yokohama Institute has used its large-scale nuclear magnetic resonance system to facilitate the structural analysis of proteins and large molecules, and the Osaka University Graduate School of Science has led in the development of technology necessary for the synthesis of previously unattainable functional polymers and natural organic compounds. Their world-leading technologies will now be applied to meet new challenges in unexplored fields of science and drug discovery.


The emergence of world-leading structural analysis technology with nuclear magnetic resonance systems. It has recently become possible to more freely synthesize functional polymers and natural compounds that are otherwise difficult to obtain. The fusion of analysis and synthesis technologies promises to facilitate key advances in drug discovery, as well as in basic research.


Yasuhiro Kajihara


Research progress

The development of technology enabling the precise chemical synthesis of previously unattainable biomolecules

Many proteins, sugars, lipids, and other organic compounds that exist in our body maintain life system by functioning appropriately in their interactions. The technology needed to obtain these biomolecules is crucial for in-depth investigations into how they work. The erythropoietin, peptidoglycan, and other immune-related materials used as protein preparations in this project have been obtained by technology developed for precision chemical synthesis of biomolecules that were previously unavailable. In previously unexplored regions, cumulative advances in technology have also been applied to meet the challenges of structurally analyzing the obtained compounds and elucidating their functions. It may also be noted that the production made possible by these synthesis technologies is not limited to natural products, but has also led to the development of many functional polymers.

Further development

Expectations for explanations of unknown biological phenomena and the creation of new functional polymers

With the advances in analytical technology, research is being directed into unknown complex and interesting research area. For example, the development of nuclear magnetic resonance systems and advances in analytical technology are enabling observation of molecular movement on cell membranes, intermolecular interactions, and other phenomena in states closer to those of the bioenvironment. Fusing the analysis technology developed by RIKEN and the synthesis technology developed by Osaka University Graduate School of Science can be expected to enable elucidation of previously unknown biological phenomena and the creation of new functional molecules. By more fully utilizing their respective strengths, we will develop new fields of research and advance the cutting edge of scientific study.