Invitation to Osaka University Frontier Biosciences Summer School

Osaka University Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences is pleased to announce the opening of Frontier Biosciences Summer School for the Summer 2004, with financial support by the 21-st Century Center of Excellence (COE) award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

The Summer School consists of a week of intensive lectures primarily by our faculty, followed by three weeks of hands-on experience in laboratories of our faculty members. Areas covered by the Summer School range from nanobiology, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, to neuroscience. (See our brochure (right) and faculty list and their research interests page at:

The course is ideal for prospective students and researchers considering a longer stay as graduate students and postdoctoral scientists at our Graduate School, and those who are interested in research activities conducted at our Graduate School are also welcome to apply. All students participating in this course will receive round-trip airfare from a major international airport in their country to Osaka University and reasonable stipend to cover expenses during their stay. Accommodation is provided at an off-campus facility. Please obtain a traveller's medical insurance in your country for the duration of travel, as we are not able to cover this part of expense.

Summer School 2004 Poster download
[2.5MB PDF file]

Brochure and laboratory overview
[PDF 2.0MB; English/Japanese dual-language]


July 12~August 6, 2004

Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871 JAPAN

Application Deadline

Friday, May 21, 2004

NOTE: All application materials must be received by the above date.
We will accept applications sent via FAX or Email, provided that the original hard-copy documents are received by Friday, May 28, 2004. Letters of recommendation, if sent via Email, must be sent directly by the letter writers, followed by the signed original.

Application Documents
  1. Application form (signature required -- download the form below)
    Note that you may choose laboratories for hands-on experience from any laboratory of our faculty, not just those giving lectures. However, acceptance to a given lab is not guaranteed, and there will be a limit to the number of students per lab.
  2. CV
  3. Publication List (if any)
  4. One or two letters of recommendation (signature required)

Lecturers (tentative)
Prof. Hiroshi Nojima Stepwise subtraction: a powerful technique
1) A protocol to make cDNA library of high quality.
2) Preparation of E. coli competent cell with high frequency.
3) An efficient procedure to perform stepwise subtraction.
4) Comprehensive isolation of transcripts induced in mouse spermiogenesis by stepwise subtraction.
5) Isolation of the gene that is responsible for high spontaneous metastasis of mouse melanoma BL6 cells by stepwise subtraction.
6) Development of novel RNA diagnosis system as a practical application of the stepwise subtraction.
Prof. Fumio Hanaoka Replication of damaged DNA in mammalian cells
All cells need not only to remove damage from their DNA, but also to be able to replicate DNA containing unrepaired damage. In mammalian cells, the major process by which cells are able to replicate damaged templates is translesion synthesis, the direct synthesis of DNA past altered bases. Crucial to this process is a series of recently discovered DNA polymerases called Y-family polymerases. In this lecture, I will present our studies on one of the Y-family polymerases, DNA polymerase eta, which is the responsible gene product of the cancer-prone genetic disease, xeroderma pigmentosum variant.
Prof. Keiichi Namba Structure and switching of the bacterial flagellum – Structural and functional studies on a biological macromolecular assembly –
1) Electron cryomicroscopy, X-ray crystallography and X-ray fiber diffraction for structural studies of macromolecular assemblies
2) Self-assembly mechanism of the bacterial flagellum
3) Switching mechanisms to produce curved and twisted tubular structures for the universal joint and propeller functions
Prof. Toshio Yanagida Single Molecule Nano-Biosciences
Biomolecules assemble to form molecular machines such as molecular motors, cell signal processors, DNA transcription processors and protein synthesizers to fulfill their functions. Their collaboration allows the activity of biological systems. The reactions and behaviors of molecular machines vary flexibly while responding to their surroundings. This flexibility is essential for biological organisms. The underlying mechanism of molecular machines is not as simple as that expected from analogy with man-made machines. Since molecular machines are only nanometers in size and has a flexible structure, it is very prone to thermal agitation. Furthermore, the input energy level is not much different from average thermal energy, kBT. Molecular machines can thus operate under the strong influence of this thermal noise, with a high efficiency of energy conversion. They would not overcome thermal noise but effectively use it for their functions. This is in sharp contrast to man-made machines that operate at energies much higher than the thermal noise. In recent years, the single molecule detection (SMD) and nano-technologies have rapidly been expanding to include a wide range of life science. The dynamic properties of biomolecules and the unique operations of molecular machines, which were previously hidden in averaged ensemble measurements, have now been unveiled. The aim of our research is to approach the engineering principle of adaptive biological system by uncovering the unique operation of biological molecular machines. I survey our SMD experiments designed to investigate molecular motors, enzyme reactions, protein dynamics, DNA transcription and cell signaling.
Prof. Hiroshi Hamada Genetic and cellular basis of embryonic patterning
1) Establishing body axis in the mouse
2) Role of signaling molecules in embryonic patterning
3) Transcriptional regulation during early development
Prof. Hisato Kondoh Understanding embryogenesis from the veiwpoint of gene regulation
1) How development proceeds: conservation and diversity across animal species
2) Various approaches and experimental models to the problem
3) Examples of neural and sensory tissue development
Prof. Toshio Hirano Cytokine system in health and disease: a major regulator in immune responses

As indicated by AIDS, immune system is essential for human to survive. It indeed plays essential roles in defense against infectious agents. On the other hand, immune system attacks self antigen as revealed by the presence of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and SLE. Thus immune system is "double-edged sword" in its nature. In this seminar I will discuss
1) self and non-self discrimination in immune system, 2) mechanisms of destruction of self tolerance, 3) cytokine system as one of central regulator of immune response, 4) signal transduction mechanisms through cytokine recepters, and 5) autoimmune diseases caused by abnormal signal transduciton through cytokine receptors.

Prof. Takeshi Yagi Genes and Behavior
1) Behavioral genetics
2) Gene knockout and behavior
3) Fyn tyrosine kinase for behavior
4) CNR/protocadherin gene
Prof. Izumi Ohzawa Representation of visual information in the cerebral cortex

1) Visual pathway and representation of visual information in the retina and thalamus
2) Receptive fields and modern measurement methods
3) Representation of form information
4) Representation of motion and stereoscopic depth information

Inquiries for the Frontier Biosciences Summer School should be sent to:
Telephone: +81-6-6850-6522, Fax: +81-6-6879-4420


For further details of the program and Application Form, please download the following PDF/ WORD files.

  Program (PDF: 14KB, WORD:36KB) (updated: May 11, 2004)
  Application Form (PDF: 71KB, WORD:32KB)

Application documents should be mailed to:

Summer School 2004
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences,
Osaka University
1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871 JAPAN