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RIKEN Integrated Symbiology (iSYM)

Ken  Shirasu(Ph.D.) Group Director, CSRS (*): Ken Shirasu (Ph.D.)

*CSRS: RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Integrated Symbiology (iSYM) is an interdisciplinary research program at RIKEN, studying organism-organism interactions. High biological diversity, which is built on numerous organism-organism interactions, ensures natural sustainability for all life forms, including us.

We aim to understand how organisms interact with each other in the molecular level, revealing novel communication tools and controlling strategies developed by various life forms.

Main Research Fields

  • Molecular Biology & Genetics

Related Research Fields

  • Physics
  • Biology & Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Plant & Animal Science
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience & Behavior
  • Environment & Ecology
  • Multidisciplinary


  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of microbe-host symbiotic systems
  • Develop infrastructure and technical tools to promote research on symbiosis
  • Carry out research and development toward the creation of a new biotech industry based on the application of symbiotic systems

Selected Publications

  • 1.Atarashi, K., Suda, W., Luo, C., Kawaguchi, T., Motoo, I., Narushima, S., Kiguchi, Y., Yasuma, K., Watanabe, E., Tanoue, T., Thaiss, C.A., Sato, M., Toyooka, K., Said, H.S., Yamagami, H., Rice, S.A., Gevers, D., Johnson, R.C., Segre, J.A., Chen, K., Kolls, J.K., Elinav, E., Morita, H., Xavier, R.J., Hattori, M., Honda, K.:
    “Ectopic colonization of oral bacteria in the intestine drives TH1 cell induction and inflammation.”
    Science, 358, 359-365. (2017) doi:10.1126/science.aan4526
  • 2.Ogawa, T., Kryukov, K., Imanishi, T., Shiroguchi, K.:
    “The efficacy and further functional advantages of random-base molecular barcodes for absolute and digital quantification of nucleic acid molecules.”
    Scientific Reports, 7, 13576. (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13529-3
  • 3.Yun, C.S., Motoyama, T., Osada, H.:
    “Regulatory Mechanism of Mycotoxin Tenuazonic Acid Production in Pyricularia oryzae.”
    ACS Chemical Biology, 12, 2270-2274. (2017) doi: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00353
  • 4.Piotrowski, J. S., Li, S. C., Deshpande, R., Simpkins, S. W., Nelson, J., Yashiroda, Y., Barber, J. M., Safizadeh, H., Wilson, E., Okada, H., Gebre, A. A., Kubo, K., Torres, N. P., LeBlanc, M. A., Andrusiak, K., Okamoto, R., Yoshimura, M., van Leeuwen, J., Shirahige, K., Baryshnikova, A., Brown, G. W., Hirano, H., Costanzo, M., Andrews, B., Ohya, Y., Osada, H., Yoshida, M., Myers, C. L., Boone, C.:
    “Functional Annotation of Chemical Libraries across Diverse Biological Processes.”
    Nature Chemical Biology, 13, 982-993.(2017) doi:10.1038/nchembio.2436
  • 5.Germond, A., Kumar, V., Ichimura, T., Moreau, J., Furusawa, C., Fujita, H., Watanabe, T.M.:
    “Raman spectroscopy as a tool for ecology and evolution. ”
    Journal of the Royal Society Interface,14, 20170174. (2017) doi:10.1098/rsif.2017.0174

Related Links

Contact Information

E618 East Research Building,
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho,
Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama City,
Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan
Email: ken.shirasu [at] riken.jp