Preventive Medicine and Diagnosis Innovation Program

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Advanced gene expression analysis to facilitate drug development

Press Release 2013

Advanced gene expression analysis to facilitate drug development

When developing new drugs, monitoring cellular responses to candidate compounds is essential for assessing their efficacy and safety. Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies report a new method to monitor and quantify the activity of gene promoters during the response to a drug, using the advanced gene expression analysis method CAGE followed by single-molecule sequencing. This research paves the way to a more precise analysis of cellular responses to drugs, at the level of individual promoters.

What’s special about PMI?

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We offer access to the scientific advances made at RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institute in the natural sciences.

Our staff members, who are specialists in medical science, molecular biology, informatics, and regulatory science, offer careful advice to help you meet your needs.

We manage projects in a flexible way, based on our matrix system.

We provide an infrastructure for the conduct of clinical research based on clinical and biological samples.

We promote collaborations with hospitals to conduct clinical work and clinical studies.



Message from the Director

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Our message at the RIKEN Preventive Medicine & Diagnosis Innovation Program (PMI) is geared to the many medical professionals who wish they had a better way to diagnose some disorder, and to people serving in industry who have a technology that they wish could be put to use in the clinic. Our aim is to promote collaborations between these people and RIKEN researchers, with the aim to bring leading-edge medical innovations into clinical practice.

In recent years, rapid advances in science and technology, along with globalization, have led to the development of new disciplines, and have reduced the distance between different disciplines. In the life sciences, a new medical economy is emerging based on collaborations between basic science, basic medicine, medical science, and health care science. However, we cannot just sit back. It is clear that the results of research in the life sciences are not yet being adequately put into application in the clinic. We need to do more to bridge the gap between basic science and medical fields.

It was precisely for this role that PMI was established. Researchers at RIKEN produce many research breakthroughs every year, and our goal is to make sure that these breakthroughs are put to use effectively in clinical practice.

At PMI we are focusing our efforts on innovations in the area of preventive medicine. It is currently projected that by the year 2055, 40% of Japan’s population will be aged 65 or older. In a society with such a large population of elderly people, it will become increasingly necessary to make proactive efforts before a disease becomes apparent in order to keep people healthy. This will require preventive medicine. Medicine is moving from the traditional concept of curing diseases to taking action before a disease becomes manifest.

Every day, researchers at RIKEN are making breakthroughs with potential use in medical practice. At PMI we aim to be an interface between the scientific advances made at RIKEN and colleagues in medical institutions, companies, and researchers, to bring leading-edge medicine into the clinic.

Yoshihide Hayashizaki
Program Director
RIKEN Preventive Medicine & Diagnosis Innovation Program