Integrative Physiology

Information for Exchange Students

Name of the department: Department of Integrative Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki


Name of the research project: Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory


Head of the department: Professor Kogo Takamiya, MD, PhD


Tutor: Professor:      Professor Kogo Takamiya, MD, PhD

                                  Assistant Professor Takato Kunitake, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor Yoshihiko Wakazono, PhD


Languages: English/Japanese


Duration of the project: One month


Period of year: from August to March


Acceptable number of students (per period/per year): 1/period, 2/year



Project description:

During the past decade, many synaptic molecules have been discovered and much effort has been invested in understanding how these molecules function in neurons. Glutamate receptors, major excitatory neurotransmitter receptor in central nervous system, are well studied on their critical roles in synaptic plasticity that is the principal neuronal function underlying learning and memory.


Following the discovery of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) many investigators have scrutinized the molecular mechanisms underlying these forms of plasticity, which are thought to be in vitro model for memory and learning. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity will provide a better understanding of higher brain function.
We are interested in comprehending the molecular regulatory mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that affect higher brain function such as memory and learning. To pursue this aim, we are using molecular biology, cell biology approaches using primary culture neurons and electrophysiology technique using acute brain slices and isolated neuronal cells. In addition, we are trying to establish techniques, viral gene transfer into live animal and neuronal recording using live animal to investigate real-time neuronal responses.


In addition, we would like to expand my research to study how synaptic plasticity is involved in disease.


Aim of the project:

Due to short-term training program we will arrange individual theme based on the student’s skill and knowledge. But all themes will be selected from one part of our projects described above.

As a goal of this project, all individual will understand our research overview and obtain basic scientific techniques as many as possible.


Further information:

If you have any questions about each project, please feel free to contact me by e-mail @

Kogo Takamiya.


It may be also helpful for you to understand our ongoing projects by visiting our web site,