RI research

Information for Exchange Students


Name of the department: Department of Biotechnology, Frontier Science Research Center, University of Miyazaki

Name of the research project: Molecular analysis of ribosome-associated diseases using the zebrafish model system

Head of the department: Professor Naoya Kenmochi, PhD

Tutor(s): Professor Naoya Kenmochi, PhD

  Assistant Professor Tamayo Uechi, PhD

  Postdoctoral fellow Anirban Chakraborty, PhD


Language(s): English/Japanese

Duration of the project: One month

Period of year: all year except from Aug. 10th to Aug. 19th and Dec. 12th to Jan 9th

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


Description of the project (including, relation to the main work of the laboratory, procedures and methods used in the project): Ribosomes, the protein synthesis factories, are essential for every living cell. Ribosome biogenesis, a very complex and energy demanding process, mainly occurs in the nucleolus. The control of ribosome activity is critical for cell growth and proliferation. Recent studies have made it clear that disruption of ribosome biogenesis causes nucleolar stress, which activates the p53 tumor suppressor protein, the master guardian of the cell. However, the exact mechanisms of p53 induction in response to ribosomal stress are still unknown.  Defects in ribosome biogenesis have also been linked to several human diseases called ribosomopathies, a collection of rare genetic disorders associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.  However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases have yet to be elucidated completely. The major focus in our laboratory is to understand the pathobiology of these ribosome-associated diseases and to unravel the signaling pathways that link ribosome with cancer using the zebrafish model system.  

              Several attributes such as high fecundity, short generation time, embryonic transparency, and low cost set up make zebrafish an excellent model organism. The student (s) who joins our laboratory would work on the project proceeding at the term and learn molecular biology techniques as follows:

  1. Gene knockdown in zebrafish using morpholino antisense oligos by microinjection technique.
  2. Techniques for quantification and localization of DNA and RNA by Southern and Northern blotting, Real time PCR, and in situ hybridization.
  3. Advanced techniques such as GeneChip analysis and polysome profiling.
  4. Protein expression and functional analysis


Aim of the project: Genetic studies using DNA and RNA are very popular these days and molecular biology is one of the preferred subjects among students. The aim of the project is to familiarize and train the students with the conventional and advanced molecular techniques used in the field of genetic research.


Requirements (if special knowledge is needed): No special knowledge is required, but students who are interested in the research field are highly recommended.


Further information from:

  Naoya Kenmochi