ISSP - The institute for Solid State Physics

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Inoue Group
Associate Professor

Research Associate
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Most living organisms use sun-light as energy source for their biological activity and information source to recognize environmental change. In this photobiological events, a wide variety of photo-receptive proteins play the central role. Our research aims unified understanding of the mechanism of biomolecular functions of various photoreceptive membrane proteins called “rhodopsins”. The chemical elementary process of these supra complex photoreceptive proteins is studied by time-resolved laser spectroscopy and vibrational spectroscopy, and we are promoting further research by combining biochemical and electrophysiological techniques to achieve multi-layer understanding from atomic and molecular to cellar and individual levels. Furthermore, whereas we are developing novel artificial biomolecules for the application to optogenetics and so on based on the fundamental insights, exploration studies of new photobiological phenomena and related molecular groups, and a development of machine learning technology are being conducted with big data accompanying the development of genome analysis in recent years.

Microbial rhodopsins with a variety of functions (upper) and the purified-protein samples (lower).
Transient absorption measurement of microbial rhodopsin by a nano-second pulsed laser (top) and photo-isomerization process of retinal in rhodopsin (bottom right). Photo currents of ChR expressed in mammalian cells.

Research Subjects

  1. Functional and spectroscopic studies on the mechanism of molecular function of photoreceptive membrane protein, rhodopsins
  2. Exploration of novel photoreceptive proteins through use of genome big data
  3. Machine-learning study on the determining factor for the function of biological molecules and its application for the development of novel functional molecules