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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team

Team Leader: Ryuhei Nakamura (D.Sci.)

Research Summary

Ryuhei  Nakamura(D.Sci.)

We work on the development of biologically inspired catalysts and their application to energy conversion and production systems. Specifically, we attempt to exploit the nature’s ingenuities of multielectron catalytic reaction, electron/proton transport, metabolic regulation, flexible response to external stimuli, and the robust energy management in a deep sea environment to develop the novel materials and systems necessary to effectively manage renewable energy sources.

Main Research Fields

  • Chemistry

Related Research Fields

  • Environmental Science
  • Biology


  • Utilization of solar energy
  • Environmental diagnosis for marine ecosystems
  • Power generation at deep-sea
  • Monitoring and controlling microbial metabolisms

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. H. Ooka, M. E. Wintzer, R. Nakamura:
    "Non-zero binding enhances kinetics of catalysis: machine learning analysis on the experimental hydrogen binding energy of platinum"
    ACS Catal., 11, 6298-6303(2021)
  • 2. D. He, H. Ooka, Y. Kim, Y. Li, F. Jin, S. H. Kim, R. Nakamura:
    "Atomic-scale evidence for highly selective electrocatalytic N−N coupling on metallic MoS2"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117, 31631-31638(2020)
  • 3. R. Hudson, R.Graaf, M. Rodin, A.Ohno, N. Lane, S. E. McGlynn, Y. M. A. Yamada, R. Nakamura, L. M. Barge, D. Braun, V. Sojo:
    "CO2 reduction driven by a pH gradient"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117, 22873-22879(2020)
  • 4. Y. Ichihashi, Y. Date, A. Shino, T. Shimizu, A. Shibata, K. Kumaishi, F. Funahashi, K. Wakayama, K. Yamazaki, A. Umezawa, T. Sato, M. Kobayashi, M. Kamimura, M. Kusano, F.-S. Che, M. O`Brien, K. Tanoi, M. Hayashi, R. Nakamura, K. Shirasu, J. Kikuchi, and N. Nihei:
    "Multi-omics analysis on an agroecosystem reveals the significant role of organic nitrogen to increase agricultural crop yield"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117, 14552-14560(2020)
  • 5. Y. Li, Y. K. Go, H. Ooka, D. He, F. Jin, S. H. Kim, R. Nakamura:
    "Enzyme mimetic active intermediates for nitrate reduction in neutral aqueous media"
    Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 59, 9744-9750(2020)
  • 6. A. Li, H. Ooka, N. Bonnet, T. Hayashi, Y. Sun, Q. Jiang, C. Li, H. Han, R. Nakamura:
    "Stable potential windows for long-term electrocatalysis by manganese oxides under acidic conditions"
    Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 58, 5054-5058(2019)
  • 7. D. He, Y. Li, H. Ooka, Y. K. Go, F. Jin, S. H. Kim, R. Nakamura:
    "Selective electrocatalytic reduction of nitrite to dinitrogen based on decoupled proton-electron transfer"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 140, 2012-2015(2018)
  • 8. A. Yamaguchi, R. Inuzuka, T. Takashima, T. Hayashi, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "Regulating proton-coupled electron transfer for efficient water splitting by manganese oxides at neutral pH"
    Nat. Commun., 5:4256(2014)
  • 9. *A. Okamoto, K. Hashimoto, K. H. Nealson, R. Nakamura:
    "Rate enhancement of bacterial extracellular electron transport involves bound flavin semiquinones"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 110, 7856-7861(2013)
  • 10. *R. Nakamura, T. Takashima, S. Kato, K. Takai, M. Yamamoto, K. Hashimoto:
    "Electrical current generation across a black smoker chimney"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 49, 7692-7694(2010)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Ryuhei Nakamura
Team Leader

Core members

Yoko Chiba
Senior Scientist
Hideshi Ooka
Research Scientist
Hye-Eun Lee
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Ailong Li
Postdoctoral Researcher
Shuang Kong
Postdoctoral Researcher
Jieun Lee
Postdoctoral Researcher
Marie Wintzer
Technical Staff I
Kesu Dong
Technical Staff II


Position Deadline
Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher (W20212) Open until filled

Contact Information

S103, Sustainable Resource Science Building,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: ryuhei.nakamura [at] riken.jp