Research Areas

Department of
Professor Hiroyuki Moriuchi
A child is born with two gifts from parents in hands.
One is genome, which is derived from both parents. Variations or defects in certain gene(s) as well as chromosomal abnormalities as a result of an error during cell division may result in a variety of genetic/chromosomal disorders. Whole genome sequencing is now feasible, expanding our knowledge in genetics; however, there remain numerous diseases of unknown etiology. Clarification of molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of diseases in childhood will lead to development of new therapeutic strategies as well as better understanding of functions of the respective genes. Aiming for that, we are studying molecular and clinical aspects of a variety of genetic disorders, particurlarly endocrinological diseases.
The other gift is microbiota, a community of microbes that is derived exclusively from mother. A human body itself is an eco-system consisting of several hundred trillions of bacteria and many other microbes as well as approximately forty trillions of human cells. While those microbes and human are usually in a symbiotic relationship, certain microbes do harm to fetuses or newborns. Among them we are studying epidemiology, preventive methods, and treatment of cytomegalovirus, rubella virus and Toxoplasma gondii that are transmitted through placenta as well as human T-cell leukemia virus that is transmitted via breastfeeding. The former can result in a variety of congenital abnormalities, and the latter is the causative agent of a fatal hematological malignancy that develops in 5% of carriers.