University-Industry Cooperation and Research Program Division,
Research Program Department,
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, JAPAN

University-Industry Research Cooperation Societally Applied Scientific Linkage and Collaboration

University-Industry Cooperative Research Committees

Aims and Goals

Chemical biology is a research field that uses chemistry to address the challenge of elucidating complex biological systems. The recent advancement of compound-synthesis technology and genome research has made possible a more intensive search for compounds that can serve as inhibitors and activators for a wide array of gene products.

In the past, industries prepared large-scale libraries of chemical compounds and were thought to be the vehicle for conducting research in search of drug-discovery seeds. These days, however, research institutions (e.g., universities and national research institutions) are using chemical libraries to carry out large-scale screening. These research results are contributing to industrialization in this field via venture companies and other means.

In Japan, the University of Tokyo, RIKEN and other public research institutions are building open chemical libraries, establishing an environment in which these libraries can be used by researchers irrespective of their industrial or academic affiliation. At present, focus is placed on the medical and pharmaceutical applications of chemical biology; however, it can also be applied to research in the agrochemical and food domains. Having such latent potential, this research field should be able, both scientifically and technologically, to make significant contributions to society.

Against that backdrop, this JSPS Committee, comprising members from academia and industry, was established for both administratively and scientifically important purposes. Its members exchange information on new chemical biology developments in Japan, discuss ways to sustain and enhance Japan’s international standing in this field, and explore possibilities for creating new industries.

In sum, this Committee was established to promote cross-organizational and cross-disciplinary information exchange and joint research between frontline researchers and technologists in the academic and industrial sectors.

Research Themes

  1. Surveying trends in chemical biology research in Japan and abroad
  2. Sustaining and improving Japan’s own diverse research structure and ability to discover special bioactive small molecules
  3. Identifying new technologies for advancing next-generation chemical biology
  4. Building a collaborative research framework in this field between the academic and industrial sectors.

Committee Chairperson

Hiroyuki Osada
Deputy Director
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science


April 2015 to March 2020 (First term, Five Years)

Membership Composition   (As of Apr.2017)

Academia: 22
Industry: 19
Total membership: 41