About us

Research and Education Policy

 Currently, we are facing global problems such as global warming and depletion of fossil resources. It is of urgency to construct a sustainable society where foods and energies can be supplied while maintaining the natural environments. To overcome such a circumstance, we need to elucidate the commonality and diversity of biological functions among organisms and utilize them to a high degree, for which cooperation among researchers in various fields is essential.
 The Division of Applied Life Sciences promotes interdisciplinary and international research and education activities, based on the academic field of agricultural chemistry where basic and applied studies are performed using chemistry and biology. In detail, our division aims to understand various phenomena in microorganisms, plants, animals, and among different organisms at the molecular level with multifaceted approaches including physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell physiology. Furthermore, another important role for us is to contribute to the development of society through applied studies derived from new basic findings. We are developing human resources who can find new principles in nature by deeply understanding biological phenomena from their own viewpoints, who invent original technologies from the findings, and who support industry, government, and academia in Japan and other countries.


Elucidation of biological functions at the molecular and cellular levels,
and development of novel biotechnologies

 The Division of Applied Life Sciences has historically developed from the field of agricultural chemistry. Focusing on life, food, and environment, we perform fundamental and applied research in a broad range of fields related to "biology and chemistry" and strive to apply findings from our research to improve human lives and welfare.
 Our division consists of 16 laboratories and one endowed chair and studies a variety of organisms, such as microorganisms, plants, insects, and animals. We are elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of life phenomena and biological functions at the molecular and cellular levels based on physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell physiology, structural biology. Furthermore, according to these fundamental researches, we aim to elucidate various issues that arise in the world, such as those on agricultural production, fermentation, food and chemical industries, and environmental conservation, and to create new biotechnologies that are environmentally friendly. In particular, modern society requires to secure food and energy while maintaining the natural environment and improving the quality of life. In order to solve these difficult problems, it is thought that application of the abilities of organisms become more and more important. Through research and education at the graduate school, we aim to create researchers and engineers who can conduct original research by a deep understanding of life phenomena and develop innovative technologies based on such research. Kyoto University has respected the liberal academic culture since its founding. We hope that students will actively learn various academic fields in graduate school education. In addition, we wish the students will become highly motivated researchers and engineers. The Kusunoki (camphor tree), the symbol of our university, steadily grows into a large tree over a long time. From this, we call the study of "Kusunoki Gakumon" that grows slowly but steadily and achieves great success. Our aim is to build an attractive academic discipline with a long-term vision, without being restricted by existing values.
 The Division of Applied Life Sciences has a much larger capacity than the Department of Applied Life Sciences (undergraduate), and has accepted about 20 external enrollments each year. In each field of our division, a variety of education and research is conducted, and graduate students who are not from the Department of Applied Life Sciences, such as those from other universities and faculties, are also developing their own original research utilizing their undergraduate experiences. We hope that you will grow as researchers and engineers through enjoying experiments and research activities by thinking deeply with a broad perspective.

 If you are interested, please feel free to visit our laboratories. Let's challenge interesting (“Omoroi” in the Kansai direct) research together.

The Division of Applied Life Sciences,
Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
Chair of the Division
Osamu Shirai


Academic staffs

Chair Laboratory Professor Associate professor Assistant professor
Applied Biochemistry Cellular Biochemistry Noriyuki Kioka Yasuhisa Kimura Mito Kuroda
Koh Nagata (Project-specific Asst. Prof.)
Biomacromolecular Chemistry Kenji Sugase Ayako Furukawa -
Bioregulation Chemistry - Masahiro Miyashita -
Chemical Ecology Naoki Mori Hajime Ono Naoko Yoshinaga
Molecular & Cellular Sciences Plant Nutrition Kentaro Ifuku Masaru Kobayashi Kumiko Ochiai
Kaori Kohzuma
Molecular Microbiology Yoshiharu Inoue - Wataru Nomura (Project Asst. Prof.)
Applied Microbiology Fermentation Physiology & Applied Microbiology Jun Ogawa Shigenobu Kishino Akinori Ando
Microbial Biotechnology Yasuyoshi Sakai Hiroya Yurimoto Kosuke Shiraishi
Bioorganic & Biophysical Chemistry Bio-Analytical & Physical Chemistry Osamu Shirai - Yuki Kitazumi
Keisei Sowa
Biofunction Chemistry Hideto Miyoshi Masatoshi Murai Takahiro Masuya
Applied Structural Biology - - Kimihiko Mizutani
Molecular Biofunction
(Institute for Chemical Research)
Chemistry of Molecular Biocatalysts Shinjiro Yamaguchi - Kiyoshi Mashiguchi
Molecular Microbial Science Tatsuo Kurihara Jun Kawamoto Takuya Ogawa
Wood Bioscience
(Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere)
Plant Gene Expression Kazufumi Yazaki Akifumi Sugiyama Ryosuke Munakata
Metabolic Science of Forest Plants & Microorganisms Yuki Tobimatsu - -
Biomass Conversion Takashi Watanabe - Takahito Watanabe
Hiroshi Nishimura
Endowed chair
(Graduate School of Agriculture)
Industrial Microbiology Makoto Ueda
(Visiting Prof.)
Ryotaro Hara
(Project-specific Assoc. Prof.)
Michiki Takeuchi
(Project-specific Asst. Prof.)