Jun-ichi SATOH, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Bioinformatics is a recently growing research field that integrates biology and information technology. Following the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, we now can clarify the comprehensive profile of all human genes expressed in specific subsets of the cell by using DNA microarray. The global analysis of transcriptome, along with proteome, has greatly facilitated genome-based drug discovery research aimed at mining the best molecular target for the rational drug design from huge numbers of disease-related and drug-responsive genes. In the Department of Bioinformatics, newly established in Meiji Pharmaceutical University in 2006, three major projects focusing on drug development for human intractable neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases are ongoing. They are investigating with DNA and protein microarray technologies as follows: (1) Prion diseases: characterization of prion protein interactome; (2) Multiple sclerosis: gene expression profiling of lesion development-specific molecules; and (3) Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease: phylogenetic analysis of disease-related genes by using the Bombyx mori model system. We also attempt to clarify the genome-wide molecular network of disease-causing genes by using KeyMolnet, a bioinformatics tool for analyzing molecular interaction on the curated knowledge database, which would provide us novel insights into understanding the complex pathophysiology of human neurological diseases.