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Master's Program in Biological Sciences Course

See Also→  Department of Biological Science [Master's Course]

Molecular, individual, and population viewpoints are vital for understanding various life phenomena. This program provides education and research on phenomena at the levels of genes, molecules, cells, individuals, populations and communities, with the aim of fostering research which is rich in creativity and has a broad perspective. Each course aims to construct a unique specialty by integrating multiple research fields that mutually complement each other. Highly advanced education and research on biology are carried out in both courses as the basis of natural science, while being oriented to the transition to interdisciplinary research which exists in the methodologies common to both courses. This program is expected to nurture a balance between micro and macro phenomena as well as advance the scientific discipline of biology, and so maintains its original specialty. The Molecular and Cell Biology Course places emphasis on education and research which analyzes life phenomena at the molecular and cellular levels. The Individual and Population Biology Course focuses on education and research which analyzes life phenomena at the individual and population levels.


Introduction of Department

In terms of the objects of study, Biology today is developing in two directions: one is from the cell to organic molecules and the other from an individual organism to an ecological population and a global environment. The divergence of analytical means and procedures between the two objects continues to grow. However, there are still many points at which researchers in different fields of Biology meet on common ground in order to open up new fields through interdisciplinary approach.
Considering these types of progress and features of modern Biology, we offer two courses in our Department: one is the course of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the other Integrative Biology. We are convinced that a highly individual and professional process of education will be produced through the mutual interactions of these different fields of Biology.

Educational Philosophy

Revolutionary technological advances in molecular and cell biology have provided a greater understanding of the structure of genes and their various mechanisms, as well as an understanding of genomes. This in turn has led to new insights into the structures and functions of cells, and development and behavior of individual organisms. 
At the same time, there is an increasing demand for efforts targeting issues deeply related to the biological sciences, for example relating to the environment, biotechnology, and "bioethics."
The Department of Biological Science at Nara Women's University provides students with the basic concepts, knowledge, and experimental methods required to understand various biological phenomena in the context of these rapid developments. At the same time, we will provide guidance throughout the process of research in individual themes, ensuring that the student acquires the ability to seek out themes, select research methods, analyze data, and discuss the results in a logical scientific framework.

Expectations of Students

The Department of Biological Sciences expects potential students to have a fundamental knowledge of biology and basic skills in reading and writing English. Equally important, however, is a strong desire and enthusiasm to gain a better understanding of various forms of living organisms, and to unravel the riddles of life.


Faculty and Research

Molecular and Cellular Biology

This course provides graduate students with opportunities to study biology from molecular and cellular viewpoints. The topics of this course cover how the structure and function of genes, nucleic acids and proteins play a role in morphogenetic process of cells, tissues, and organs, how physiological functions correlate to cellular structure and how cell proliferation, aging, variation, life cycle and cell-to-cell interactions are organized.

Satoshi Kagiwada
Professor
Laboratory
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Molecular biological studies on the structure and function of biomembranes
Keywords : budding yeast, biomembrane, endoplasmic reticulum, phospholipid
Kazuhiko Saeki
Professor
Laboratory
Biochemical Genetics
Molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions and nitrogen fixation
Keywords : Rhizobium, Legume
Shuichi Sakaguchi
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Cell Biology and Plant Morphology
Studies on the morphogenesis of higher plants
Keywords : micro CT, microtubule, phyllotaxis, recombinant DNA technology, shoot apical meristem (SAM)
Terue Harumoto
Professor
Laboratory
Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
Molecular biological and evolutionary studies on cell-cell interactions in protists
Keywords : conjugation, predator, prey, extrusomes, genetic code
Hisao Yoshikawa
Associate Professor
Laboratory

Molecular Phylogeny and Cell Biology

Phylogeny, classification, and ultrastructure of protists
Keywords : Classification, lecular phylogeny, netic diversity
Mayumi Sugiura
Associate Professor
Laboratory

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Studies on cell-cell interactions and the molecular mechanism of sexual reproduction in ciliates
Keywords : ciliate; conjugation; sexual maturation; mating type; cannibalism
Shin-ichi Iwaguchi
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Molecular and Cellular Microbiology
Genome biology in pathogenic fungi
Keywords : Fungi, Chromosoma aberration, Ploidy shift, Microbial volatile organic compounds, Fermentation Microbiology
Ichiro Nishii
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Molecular and Cell Biology
Studies on evolution of developmental complexities in volvocine algae
Keywords : Green algae, Volvox, Chlamydomonas, Morphogenesis, Differentiation

Integrative Biology

This course offers opportunities to study biological phenomena shown by both individuals and populations. The topics of this course cover how the nervous system develops and regenerates, how the body plan is established during individual embryonic development, how individuals communicate, how environmental factors affect the physiological functions of individuals and communities, how populations and communities are organized, how the global ecosystem works and how to preserve the ecosystem.

Keiko Yasuda
Professor
Laboratory
Reproductive Physiology
Physiological and histological studies on mammalian reproduction
Keywords : Ovary, Testis, follicle growth, follicle selection, Leydig cells
Yoichi Yusa
Professor
Population and Community Ecology
Ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary studies on marine and freshwater animals
Keywords : mollusc, crustacea, sex, life history, species interaction
Toshio Watanabe
Professor
Laboratory
Molecular and Cellular Biology, Mouse Molecular Genetics
Molecular analysis of regulatory proteins in membrane traffic in mice and their roles in human diseases
Keywords : Gene engineered mice, Membrane traffic, Human diseases, Low molecular weight G protein
Satoshi Tamotsu
Professor
Laboratory
Animal and Sensory Physiology
Physiological and histological studies on photoneuroendocrine organs
Atsushi Sakai
Professor
Laboratory

Plant Physiology

Physiological and biochemical studies on plant organelles; plant environmental physiology
Keywords : Chloroplasts, mitochondria, nucleoid, DNA replication, transcription
Kumi Sato-Nara
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology
Molecular biological studies on water transport and morphogenesis in plants
Keywords : Arabidopsis thaliana, aquaporin, light response, root hair formation
Hiroaki Sato
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Community and Evolutionary Ecology and Systematics
Animal-plant interactions, insect-parasitoid interactions, and lepidopteran taxonomy
Keywords : parasitoids, life history, populations, moths, phylogeography
Takashi Ida
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Ecology and Evolution of plants
Animal-plant interactions, insect-parasitoid interactions, and lepidopteran taxonomy
Keywords : Ecology and Evolution, Phenology, Pollination, Mating system, Resource allocation
Izumi Katano
Associate Professor
Laboratory
Freshwater ecology and conservation
Biodiversity-environment interactions, community ecology, and ecosystem management in freshwater habitats
Keywords :
Emi Kawano-Yamashita
Assistant Professor
Laboratory
Animal Physiology and Photobiology
Physiological analysis of non-visual photoreception in lower vertebrates
Keywords : Photoreception, rhodopsin, pineal organ, non-visual, deep brain photoreceptor