Division of Emerging Research Advanced Research & Development Programs for Medical Innovation(AMED-CREST, PRIME)

Studies on Specific Activities and Functions of Lipid Molecules to Develop Innovative Medical Technologies

[Research and Development Objective] Comprehensive Elucidation of Functional Lipid Which Contributes to Breakthrough Medicines

Outline of the Research & Development (R&D) Area

Lipids carry fundamental functions in living organisms as major components of biomembranes and energy-storage molecules. Numbers of their derivatives also play specific roles in regulating metabolism, immunity/inflammation, reproduction, circulation, neural network, etc, and are involved in pathogenesis of various disorders and diseases related to these systems. The objective of this research and development R&D area is to investigate novel biological functions of lipids and develop new technologies for their analysis, to elucidate molecular mechanism of lipid-associated various diseases, and finally to exploit novel developmental seeds for compounds and technologies to overcome these diseases, i.e. chemical compounds relevant to pre-clinical stage, target materials and reactions promising medical application in near future, or innovative diagnostic methods that may construct new clinical benefits, etc.

Lipid research has advanced along with numbers of discovery of new biological activities and exploitation of new analytic technologies. Therefore, more innovative research and exploitation should also be necessary in order to accomplish the goal of this program and initiatively dispatch the novel results toward the world. It should be also important to gather ideas of researchers in various different fields and disciplines, such as the scientists in clinical medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, synthetic chemistry, biophysics and bioengineering, and information engineering, as well as those in lipid biology and biochemistry who have carried mainstream of lipid research. Broad viewpoints based on our interdisciplinary research team works will be indispensable for advancement of research and development in lipid research field to strengthen our international competitiveness.

We would like the program members to conduct their researches with practical translational outputs always in their mind. However, it does not necessarily mean that all the members are obliged to produce practical seeds within the term. We consider it is also important to promote fundamental basic studies that would possibly become the basis for generation of innovative technologies, diagnostics, and medicines only in not-remote future, for development and enforcement of international competitiveness of our lipid research. The research field of biological activities of lipids is continuously expanding, and this R&D area is expected to lead the world in innovative and explorative research in this field.

Because of expected medical application, target lipids are primarily set as the molecules originating in mammalian cells. However, the molecules closely related to human disorders and of nutritional importance may be included, such as omega-3 fatty acids and ceramide.

Year the Area adopted


Management and Evaluation Framework

Program Supervisor (PS)

Shinji Yokoyama
Visiting Professor, Research Institute for Biological Functions, Chubu University

Program Officer (PO)

Yasuyuki Igarashi
Professor, Faculty of Advanced Life Science, Hokkaido University

R&D Area Advisors

Motonari Uesugi
Professor, Kyoto University
Yoshihiro Ogawa
Professor, Kyushu University/Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Kenji Chiba
Fellow, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
Masahiro Nishijima
Professor Emeritus, Showa Pharmaceutical University
Tetsurou Handa
Visiting Professor, Suzuka University of Medical Science
Kiyoko Fukami
Professor, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences
Daikichi Fukushima
Foundation Chairman, Ono Medical Research Foundation
Tomoko Nishimaki-Mogami
National Institute of Health Sciences


Last updated 2019.1.31