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

Understanding the Interactions and Symbiosis between the Microbiome and the Host Organism, Leading to an Understanding of the Mechanisms of Disease Onset

[Research and Development Objective] Understanding the crosstalk and symbiosis between the microbiome and host, and the applications to health and healthcare

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

In this R&D area, we aim to achieve a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of host-microbiome interactions and symbiosis, and utilize these findings to elucidate their impact on disease onset, thereby contributing to the development of new concepts for health and healthcare through the control of the human microbiome.

Various microorganisms-bacteria, fungi, viruses-live in the parts of the human body that come into direct contact with the external environment, such as the digestive tract, skin, oral cavity, nasal cavity, respiratory organs, and reproductive organs. These microorganisms form microbiomes with different characteristics specific to each location. Research is starting to show that the microbiomes of healthy individuals differ from those in diseased individuals in a wide range of diseases and conditions, suggesting that the microbiome plays an important role in health and disease. We now hope to discover new technologies for health and healthcare, such as novel diagnostic and preventive methods that use microbiome-related biomarkers to predict disease onset; techniques for personalized medicine that use individual differences in the microbiome to predict whether an individual will be responsive to a drug or experience side effects; or functional foods and/or pharmaceuticals based on discoveries of new mechanisms of action. However, we know almost nothing about the mechanisms involved in host-microbiome interactions, symbiosis, and disease onset, including how these microbiomes are formed, what causes them to change, and what are the mechanisms by which they affect human health, disease onset, or disease progression. We need to reach a comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms if we are to develop our findings on the microbiome into technologies that can contribute to society. Because host-microbiome interactions are extremely diverse and complex, we need to ensure that the research program brings together researchers from various fields; from basic medicine and microbiology to immunology, clinical medicine, and bioinformatics.

To achieve the aim of this R&D area, we hope to gather researchers from various fields and foster their collaborative works to gain a better understanding on the mechanisms of host-microbiome interactions, symbiosis and their roles in disease onset. This should develop new strategies for health promotion and healthcare technologies by controlling the human microbiome.

Year the Area adopted


Management and Evaluation Framework

Program Supervisor (PS)

Director and Professor, Medical Mycology Research Center, Chiba University

Program Officer (PO)

OHNO Hiroshi
Team Leader and Chief Scientist, Laboratory for Intestinal Ecosystem, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

R&D Area Advisors

Professor and Chairman, Kyoto University
KITANO Hiroaki
President, The Systems Biology Institute
Professor and Chair, Osaka University
Vice-Director/Professor, National Institute of Genetics
SAKATA Tsuneaki
Senior Fellow, Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Director/Professor, Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, The University of Tokyo
DOHI Taeko
Visiting Researcher, Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine
Professor, Kyushu University
Professor, Osaka University
MATSUKI Takahiro
Manager, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.


Last updated 2021.3.19