Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Drug Discovery Imaging Platform Unit

Unit Leader: Yasuyoshi Watanabe (M.D., Ph.D.)
Yasuyoshi  Watanabe(M.D., Ph.D.)

The Drug Discovery Imaging Platform Unit is advancing in vivo pharmacokinetic research of marmosets (monkeys), mice and humans by utilizing molecular imaging technology focused on positron emission tomography (PET). Labeling technologies for molecular imaging probes guarantee in vivo observation time and improve tracing after metabolic breakdown. Also, with a view to clinical studies of microdoses, we aim to build new drug discovery processes, developing labeling and probes for drug candidate compounds, as well as utilizing mice-to-human streamlined molecular imaging techniques.

Main Research Field

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Related Research Fields

Chemistry / Biology & Biochemistry / Clinical Medicine / Neuroscience & Behavior

Research Subjects

  • Rational drug discovery with molecular imaging

Selected Publications

  1. Shingaki, T., Katayama, Y., Nakaoka, T., Takashima, T., Onoe, K., Okauchi, T., Hyashinaka, E., Wada, Y., Cui, Y., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Exploration of antiemetics for osteoporosis therapy-induced nausea and vomiting using PET molecular imaging analysis to gastrointestinal pharmacokinetics"
    Pharm. Res., in press, 2016.
  2. Kamei, N., Shingaki, T., Kanayama, Y., Tanaka, M., Zochi, R., Hasegwa, K, Watanabe, Y., and Takeda-Morishita, M.:
    "Visualization and quantitative assessment of the brain distribution of insulin through nose-to-brain delivery based on the cell-penetrating peptide noncovalent strategy."
    Mol. Pharm., in press, 2016.
  3. Shingaki, T., Katayama, Y., Nakaoka, T., Irie, S., Onoe, K., Okauchi, T., Hayashinaka, E., Yamaguchi, M., Tanki, N., Ose, T., Hayashi, T., Wada, Y., Furubayashi, T., Cui, Y., Sakane, T., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Visualization of drug translocation in the nasal cavity and pharmacokinetic analysis on nasal drug absorption using positron emission tomography in the rat."
    Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 99: 45-53, 2016.
  4. Shukuri, M., Mawatari, A., Ohno, M., Suzuki, M., Doi, H., Watanabe, Y., and Onoe H.:
    "Detection of cyclooxygenase-1 in activated microglia during amyloid plaque progression: PET studies in Alzheimer's disease model mice."
    J. Nucl. Med., 57(2): 291-296, 2016.
  5. Niwa, T., Ochiai, H., Watanabe, Y., and Hosoya, T.:
    "Ni/Cu-Catalyzed Defluoroborylation of Fluoroarenes for Diverse C-F Bond Functionalizations."
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 137(45): 14313-14318, 2015.
  6. Doi, H., Mawatari, A., Kanazawa, M., Nozaki, S., Nomura, Y., Kitayoshi, T., Akimoto, K., Suzuki, M., Ninomiya, S., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Synthesis of 11C-labeled thiamine and fursultiamine for in vivo molecular imaging of vitamin B1 and its prodrug using positron emission tomography."
    J. Org. Chem., 80(12): 6250-6258, 2015.
  7. Shingaki, T., Hume, W.E., Takashima, T., Katayama, Y., Okauchi, T., Hayashinaka, E., Wada, Y., Cui, Y., Cui, Y., Kusuhara, H., Sugiyama, Y., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Quantitative Evaluation of mMate1 Function Based on Minimally Invasive Measurement of Tissue Concentration Using PET with [11C]Metformin in Mouse Pharm."
    Res., 32(8): 2538-2547, 2015.
  8. Mukai, H., Ozaki, D., Cui, Y.L., Kuboyama, T., Yamato-Nagata, H., Onoe, K., Takahashi, M., Wada, Y., Imanishi, T., Kodama, T., Obika, S., Suzuki, M., Doi, H., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Quantitative evaluation of the improvement in the pharmacokinetics of a nucleic acid drug delivery system by dynamic PET imaging with 18F-incorporated oligodeoxynucleotides."
    J. Control. Release, 180: 92-99, 2014.
  9. Shingaki, T., Takashima, T., Ijuin, R., Zhang, X., Onoue, T., Katayama, Y., Okauchi, T., Hayashinaka, E., Cui, Y., Wada, Y., Suzuki, M., Maeda, K., Kusuhara, H., Sugiyama, Y., and Watanabe, Y.:
    "Evaluation of Oatp and Mrp2 activities in hepatobiliary excretion using newly developed positron emission tomography tracer [11C]dehydropravastatin in rats."
    J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 347(1): 193-202, 2013.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yasuyoshi Watanabe
Unit Leader

Core Members

Yasuhiro Wada
Senior Technical Scientist
Yousuke Kanayama
Research Scientist
Satoshi Nozaki
Research Scientist
Kenichi Kaneko
Research Scientist
Ami Igesaka
Technical Staff I
Satsuki Irie
Technical Staff II
Naomi Okabe
Yoko Nagatomo

Contact information

6-7-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan

Email: yywata [at]

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