理科群楼6号楼2层 致远学院 Common Room
Prof. Motonari Uesugi received his Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical chemistry and biochemistry in 1995 at Kyoto University, Japan. After completing postdoctoral training in Harvard Chemistry Department under the supervision of Dr. Gregory L. Verdine, Prof. Uesugi started his independent career in Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, where he has established an interdisciplinary laboratory in the area of chemical biology. He was tenured in Baylor in 2005, and moved to Kyoto University as a full professor in 2005. He is a recipient of Tokyo TechnoForum 21 Gold Medal Award (2006), The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Award for Divisional Scientific Promotions (2011), German Innovation Award (2011), and Ichimura Prize in Science (2017). Prof. Uesugi and his co-workers aim to gain a fundamental understanding of biological events through the study of small molecules. He provides the first edX course from Japan, “The Chemistry of Life,” to create a new educational path for millions of learners worldwide.
In human history, bioactive small molecules have had three primary uses: as medicines, agrochemicals, and biological tools. While we have been working on the discovery and use of chemical tools for cell biology, our laboratory has also been interested in exploring other future applications of synthetic molecules, including chemical tools for cell therapy. Although small molecule drugs will continue to be important, cell therapy will be a powerful approach to curing difficult diseases that small molecule drugs are unable to handle. This presentation provides an overview of the recent results we obtained regarding several unique molecules. Molecular understanding of their mechanisms of actions led to the design of self-assembling molecules that could potentially be used both for basic cell biology research and for cell therapy applications. Other new applications will also be discussed.