Molecular Genetics and Drug Discovery Group

Research Theme

Genetics, Epigenetics, Biochemistry, and Drug Discovery in Cardiovascular Science

Research interests and directions

Research of this group aims to understand the broad range of mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and to use this to focus on translational research (spanning from molecular biology through to clinical application). We adopt a multi-disciplinary approach involving biologists, clinicians, physician-scientists, and computer scientists.

  1. Exploring Target Molecules for Cardiovascular Diseases
  2. Profiling a Molecular Mechanism
  3. Challenging a New Drug Discovery

Our interest is in using molecular genetic analysis of cardiovascular disease as a tool to define disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets. I have focused on inherited cardiovascular diseases, in particular idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, mitochondrial diseases, and other intractable diseases followed by Mendelian inheritance.

Molecular mechanism of intractable cardiovascular diseases (Identifying disease mutations by whole genome sequencing analysis)

We take 4-step approach as a strategy of our studies; i) whole genome sequencing and analysis and bioinformatics to identify new disease genes and mutations for inherited cardiovascular diseases, ii) biochemical approach to define molecular-molecular interaction of unknown mechanisms, iii) in vivo live imaging system (zebrafish) to trace molecular function in vivo, and iv) finally screen small compound interacting with the molecules of our interest for drug discovery.

Myocardial energy metabolism and the development of novel therapies targeting mitochondrial ATP production.

ATP is generated by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in mitochondria and governs myocardial contraction. We focused on the mechanism by which maintains energy homeostasis during energy depletion and identified proteins that can enhance the mitochondrial ATP production by using a novel imaging technique. We further try to develop novel therapy targeting mitochondrial ATP production to treat ischemic heart disease and/or heart failure.