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.
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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.
RIKEN Preventive Medicine & Diagnosis Innovation Program