‟Tag, catch, and see” Frontiers of biomolecular labeling technology

Organizers : Hiroko Bannai (Waseda University), Min Zhuang (ShanghaiTech University)
How, when, where, and why do genes and proteins behave the way they do? With what molecules do the gene and the protein of interest interact? These are very important questions for understanding the molecular mechanism underlying the biological phenomena. To answer these questions, it is indispensable to develop technologies that enables us to label and analyze the target biomolecules specifically. In this symposium, the speakers will present their latest research in molecular labeling technologies for biomolecular interactions, for proteomics analysis of specific membrane regions, and live cell imaging with high spatiotemporal resolution. Two proximity labeling techniques described here (PUP-IT and SplitTurbo ID) have contributed to the identification of novel binding proteins in immune and brain cells that have not been found by previous biochemical methods. High-resolution live imaging of the genome and transcription factors has made it possible to reveal the process of gene transcription activation with great spatiotemporal accuracy. Furthermore, the speakers will report the latest methods to label proteins and organelles on the cell membrane by chemical covalent bonding. We aim that the discussion between speakers and the audience will provide novel insight into the research of many audiences.

Physicobiology of motor proteins

Organizers : Kumiko Hayashi (Tohoku University), Kei-ichi Okazaki (Institute for Molecular Science)
This is a theoretical niche symposium, covering a wide range of cutting-edge biophysical topics on various motor proteins, such as myosin, kinesin, dynein and F1, and their associate proteins, which started in 2020s. Theories of Bayesian inference, machine learning, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, extreme value analysis, and large-scale molecular dynamics simulation have been applied to understand motor protein-related phenomena. There is a demand to extract substantial information from experimental data using theoretical methods such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. The speakers of the symposium will provide new data analyses and simulation techniques to obtain innovative information on motor proteins.

Exploration of the new RNA world

Organizers : Tetsuro Hirose (Osaka University), Chen Lingling (Chinese Academy of Science, China)
RNA plays diverse molecular functions in various cellular processes. In postgenomic era, the genome-wide transcriptomic analyses revealed the remarkable complexity of RNA species synthesized from eukaryotic genomes. The discovery includes identification of numerous noncoding RNAs and the alternatively spliced- and/or chemically modified-RNAs. In addition, it appeared that eukaryotic gene expression is regulated at multiple posttranscriptional steps including stability, processing, transport and translation of RNAs. In these regulatory mechanisms, RNAs unexceptionally associate with specific RNA-binding proteins that often induce liquid-liquid phase separation which is a fundamental mechanism to regulate various biological processes. Thus, the versatile functions of RNA contribute to dynamically and efficiently orchestrate the regulatory mechanisms that underlies complex physiological phenomena in eukaryotic cells, and the aberrant regulation in these mechanisms cause onsets of various diseases. This symposium aims to explore the expanding new RNA world by particularly focusing on the research on noncoding RNA biology and epi-transcriptome.

Combinatorial single cell and imaging analyses dissecting immune

Organizers : Masaru Ishii (Osaka University), Ng Lai Guan (A-Star, Singapore)
Organisms such as animals are shaped by organizational dynamics, and the spatiotemporal control of dynamic cellular movement in the body is crucial for life activity. A typical example is the immune system. Lymphocytes and macrophages migrate to every region of the body and gather in specific environments to exchange information and maintain normal immune responses. Recent advances in cutting-edge technologies such as intravital imaging and single-cell analyses have enabled us to comprehensively investigate dynamic behaviors and their cellular/molecular basis in vivo. In this symposium, speakers with diverse expertise, including single-cell transcriptome/metabolome analyses as well as intravital imaging techniques, present the latest updates on the elucidation of heterogeneous population of cell types and their dynamic features, and discuss the future perspectives on such combinatory approaches for understanding dynamic life systems.

WPI joint symposium for interdisciplinary life sciences

Organizers : Noriyuki Kodera (Kanazawa University), Mineko Kengaku (Kyoto University)
Under the “World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI)”, which was launched in 2007, more than ten research centers have been established to date, and the world's highest level of research is being conducted. One goal of this project is the creation of interdisciplinary research areas. In this syposium, the young and extremely talented PIs recomended by the directors of the six research centers, the Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (ICReDD) at Hokkaido University, the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University, the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Iinsititute of Technlogy, the Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI) at Kanazawa University, the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University and the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) at Kyoto University, will give lectures on their cutting edge research. The six centers cover a wide range of research fields. We thus hope this symposium will help exchanges of ideas across the research centers and strengthen the connection between young and talented researchers including the audience.

Cell and Tissue Mechanics in Development

Organizers : Fumio Motegi (Hokkaido University), Rong Li (Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore)
Biological systems are not only able to sense chemical cues but also physical factors such as force and geometry. However, it remains largely unknown about how forces can influence the establishment of tissues and organs during development. Recent studies re-conceptuarized tissue morphogenesis as a self-organizing process governed by feedbacks between fate, polarity, and mechanical forces. Given that forces can be transmitted in the range of milliseconds across cells and tissues that are not necessarily in close proximity, integration of forces facilitates efficient patterning across long distances. In the meantime, feedbacks from fate and polarity can change cellular mechanical properties, leading to progressive self-tuning of biological systems during development. This symposium aims to cover recent advancement on understanding the basic principles of how cellular mechanics (force and forms) are coordinated with chemical signalling (fate and function) across multiple scales in space and time.

Singularity in bio-science research by Trans-Scale Imaging

Organizer : Takeharu Nagai (Osaka University)
With the remarkable progress of bio-imaging technology, it is becoming possible to acquire huge amounts of image data as digital information in a high-throughput manner from biological tissues, which are large-scale complex systems. This trend will inevitably accelerate data-driven research using AI, and has the potential to fundamentally overturn the conventional methodology of life science research. In this symposium, we will introduce the latest findings on imaging methods that enable the acquisition of trans-scale image data, their application to life science research, and cloud data management, and discuss the prospects for next-generation life science research.

How can physics contribute to biology?

Organizer : Yasushi Okada (RIKEN/The University of Tokyo)
In the early 20th century, physicists made a major contribution to the dawn of molecular biology. In the nearly one century since then, technological advancement enabled more precise and quantitative measurement of the biological phenomena. Theories of physics have also progressed. Remarkable achievements have been made in statistical physics, many-body physics, and related theories that would potentially contribute to the understanding of the biological phenomena. This would be a good opportunity to review biology from a new perspective of physics theory. Intracellular liquid-liquid phase separation would be a good example. This symposium will feature researchers who are active in the new boundary area between physics and biology.

Role of epigenetic regulation in mammalian health and disease

Organizers : Makoto Tachibana (Osaka University), Sung Hee Baek (Seoul National University, Korea)
Our body contains a variety of cell types, all of which are derived from a single fertilized egg. During mammalian development, various epigenetic regulatory systems coordinately establish cell-type specific epigenomes. Epigenetic regulatory systems also contribute to the inheritance of epigenome throughout generations. Furthermore, it has also become clear that of aberrant epigenetic regulation is closely linked to the onset of diseases. In the first half of this symposium, we will focus on the mechanism of the correct establishment and maintenance of epigenome and its biological significance in early mammalian life stage. In the second half of this symposium, we will focus on the role of epigenetic regulatory systems in the onset of diseases, such as cancer.

Mammalian Synthetic Biology

Organizers : Nozomu Yachie (The University of British Columbia, Canada), Nika Shakiba (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
In mammalian systems (development and homeostasis), cells proliferate, communicate and change their functions to form diverse structures, including organs in the body. To enable this, cells dynamically exchange and transmit signals to each other, which swim through intercellular cascades to trigger gene expression patterns that progressively shape multicellular architectures under the constraints of the molecular networks embedded within the cells. The complete picture of how cells and molecules orchestrate to develop and maintain the complex multicellular systems that compose our bodies remains largely obscure. Today, our abilities to engineer mammalian genomes, implement synthetic genetic circuits, observe single cells within organ architectures, and model cell state and tissue dynamics have rapidly accelerated our understanding of these systems. This symposium will feature researchers developing new synthetic biology and computational technologies and addressing key biological questions that probe the rules governing mammalian cells. We invite the audience to be actively engaged in discussing how we envision engineering approaches that can be used to expand our understanding of mammalian systems.

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