Science Summer Program 2012 - Second Day

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Second Day—August 14 (Tuesday)

Lecture 4: Advancements in High Resolution Optical Technologies to Elucidate Brain Functional Imaging

Uma Rajagopalan Maheswari (Ph.D.), Researcher, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN

Optical technology is essential for today’s most advanced life science research. Dr. Uma Rajagopalan Maheswari, who is originally from India, employs optical technology in her brain function research at Riken. She used devices to explain the physical properties of tomography, and introduced the cutting-edge research into the brain and nervous system taking place at the Riken Brain Science Institute.

This was the first time training using computer simulations has been incorporated into the summer program. In addition to hearing about brain science research related to emotions, the students learned about a field of computer science that can be used to predict the effects of disasters and the spread of infectious diseases, and in which Japan is particularly advanced.

Lecture 5: Hint Drops on Drug Development through Omics and Informatics on Plant Specialized Metabolisms

Mami Yamazaki (Ph.D.), Assoc. Prof., Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University

Dr. Mami Yamazaki—who was a previous program officer at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, JAPAN and presently an associate professor in the Chiba University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and actively submitting new research findings—gave a lecture on pharmacy informatics.

Many drugs, including anti-influenza and anti-cancer drugs, are molecules extracted from natural substances. Dr. Yamazaki talked about drug discovery research that can lead to new drug designs in which mass spectrometry and molecular biological techniques are used to comprehensively analyze the chemicals produced by cells and their ligases.