Parasitic infectious diseases including Malaria and some neglected tropical diseases have been still been prevalent over the world and the countermeasures against them are urgent issues in the global public health. The scientific research plays an important role in not only understanding the biology of the parasites, but also in developing the effective vaccines and new drugs.
Our laboratory carries molecular biological studies out on malaria and schistosome parasites. In particular, we are interested in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of gene expression in malaria parasites, P. falciparum, and the communication between schistosome parasites using the extracellular vesicles including small RNAs. We are also interested in the drug resistance of malaria parasites and are thus attempt to identify the drug resistance gene by Plasmodium artificial chromosome, which is developed by us. In addition, we performed the epidemiological studies about Opisthorchis and Schistosomiasis to develop the new diagnostic tools.
The following studies have been carried out in our laboratory with molecular genetic, cell biological, and biochemical techniques:
(1) Elucidation of molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation of Malaria parasite, P. falciparum. (the functional analysis of AP2 transcriptional factors)
(2) Identification of drug resistance genes of Malaria parasite using the artificial chromosome technology.
(3)Investigation of cell-cell communication of schistosome parasites with extracellular vehicle containing small RNA.
(4)Host immune response during parasite infection: Th2 response to helminth infection.
(5)Epidemiological survey of Opisthorchis infection and Schistosomiasis in SE Asian areas using new diagnostic tools based on LAMP method.
Main objective of the parasitology course for undergraduate students is to provide them the basic knowledge of pathogenicity, treatment and diagnosis of parasitic diseases. We also lecture about the global action against parasitic diseases and basic biology of parasites. In the parasitology course for graduate students, they carry out the advanced molecular biology study about the parasites, in particular malaria and Schistosoma parasites, using genetic engineering, cellular biological, genome editing technologies. Furthermore, they have to join the weakly seminar, which are “seminar for the selected papers” and “the study session about the advanced molecular biology”.
Lectures & Courses
Lecture and practices of basic and clinical parasitology are given. Further more, Field practice is important for future career. It is important to have field experiences where each student find matters and problems to be clarified. Together with those, final goal is to develop human resources with enough knowledge and experiences.
Clinical Services & Other Works
Clinical services for the diagnosis of parasitic infections are our routine activities. Furthermore, epidemiological surveillance and disease control activities in the endemic fields are intended to enhance health and welfare of residents.