Department of Biological Sciences Academic Guidance / 学科ガイダンス
Department of Biological Sciences Academic Guidance / 学科ガイダンス


We welcome you to ‘Rinama’! Department of Biological Sciences Professor Takafumi Ishida Greetings, students at Komaba Campus. I would like to introduce the Department of Biological Sciences, aka ‘Rinama’. Established in 1877, this department has a long history. But more important is that everyone here can study and do research to their heart’s content. If you choose to come here, lectures will be held at the Faculty of Science Building 2. Laboratory courses will be also held in other places, such as the Botanical Gardens and the Marine Biological Station. In addition, we have prepared some fieldwork courses. As you can see, we cover a wide range of living system. This includes model organisms, but we also study a variety of other organisms. The other important keyword is evolution. Current creatures and biology cannot exist without evolution. We would like you to explore this rich diversity of biology. Now, Ms. Morotomi will tell you more about our curriculum. About Our Curriculum Ms. Nozomi Morotomi In junior year, we study in one of 2 different programs, one on animals and plants, and the other on humans. We cherish the time spent together in the juniors’ lounge, stimulating each other’s intellectual curiosity. In senior year, we are assigned to labs studying either animals, plants or humans and begin our graduate studies individually. Next, Shintaro will talk about lectures on animals. About Lectures on Animals Mr. Shintaro Taguchi In lectures on animals, we learn about the neural network structure and chemical reactions inside the cell. We can also study areas such as ecology and systematic taxonomy from the macro-perspective. In the lab, we do experiments using living creatures like this one, together with experiments using apparatus such as confocal and electron microscopes, all with our own hands. Moreover, if you participate in marine fieldwork courses held several times during the year, you can touch, catch and watch marine creatures. Upcoming, an introduction to the lectures on plants. About Lectures on Plants Ms. Tomoyo Makino We study plants from a variety of perspectives, from the cellular and molecular level to ecology and morphology. In our experiments we take up numerous subjects, such as the induction of differentiation and dedifferentiation in plant cells, the identification of unknown variants and proteins, and measurements and classification of field samples. During fieldwork courses, a distinctive feature of our department, we can confirm what we learnt during the lectures with actual plants and gain new insight at the same time. Next, Kento will talk about lectures on anthropology. About Lectures on Anthropology Mr. Kento Orihara In the anthropology program, we think of humans as objects of biology. For example, we study the evolution of humankind. In classes taken together with medical students, we get to learn not only anthropology, but basic areas of biology through subjects such as biochemistry and histology. In lectures held by the Department of Biological Sciences, such as primatology and population biology, we approach anthropology from many different standpoints. We also learn skills essential for studying anthropology, such as chronology. Through experiments, we can familiarize ourselves with various areas of anthropology, analyzing phylogenetic relationships from sequence data and making stone tools with our own hands. In fieldwork courses, we observe wild monkeys, help out at an excavation site and experience things we cannot learn inside the classroom. I will now hand it over to Ms. Uchida to talk about researches. About Researches on Animals Ms. Yui Uchida Hello, I’m Yui Uchida, a master’s student in the Laboratory of Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Animals. The theme of my study is whether there is a common relationship between the nature of ontogeny and the morphological evolution of vertebrates. There is an evolutionarily stable stage in the ontogeny process, and if we can find out the definitive properties behind this stability, we may be able to explain morphological evolution and the ‘characteristic shape’ of vertebrates. Next, Takuya will talk about researches on plants. About Researches on Plants Mr. Takuya Norizuki Hello, I’m Takuya Norizuki, a senior student in the Laboratory of Developmental Cell Biology. I’m studying membrane traffic, where proteins made in the endoplasmic reticulum are transported to various organelles by vesicles. Many studies have been made in this area using yeasts but not so much with plants. Instead of the usual model organelle, Arabidopsis thaliana, I am studying Marchantia polymorpha. What drives my research is my interest in the kind of membrane traffic acquired during the evolution of land plants. Now, Ms. Isshiki will share her research on anthropology. About Researches in Anthropology Ms. Mariko Isshiki I am Mariko Isshiki from the Unit of Human Biology and Genetics. I am studying how a protein which plays an important role in the reproduction of primates, semenogelin, has evolved in the family of Hylobatidae. The length of semenogelin has varied through its evolution, and a lengthening trend can be seen especially in species where males compete aggressively for females. Because of this, it has been suggested that there may be a relationship between the mating system in primates and the evolution of semenogelin. Hylobatidae are the closest primates to humans whose mating system is monogamy. I believe that useful knowledge can be gained on how monogamy evolved in humans through this research on Hylobatidae. Finally, a message to the students from Professor Ishida. How was this video tour of ‘Rinama’? Did you feel the homely atmosphere of this department? There is nothing to worry about coming here, but maybe watching this video alone is not enough to grasp what our department is like. If you’re interested, please come here and see for yourself. I’d be delighted to welcome you here so that you can consider your course by seeing with your own eyes and feeling the atmosphere. We’re waiting for your visit! We welcome you to ‘Rinama’!

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