Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Kyoko Chiba

Assistant Professor Life and Environments

Mentor Information
Associate professor
Shinsuke Niwa (Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences)
Research Fields Biochemistry
Research Subjects
  • Mechanism of Motor Protein Activation
  • Cargo Binding Mechanism of Motor Proteins
  • Association between Neurodegenerative Diseases and Abnormal Intracellular Transport
Academic Society Membership The Molecular Biology Society of Japan, The Japanese Biochemical Society, American Society for Cell Biology
Research Outline  

Our lives are supported by various logistics systems. Trains transport people, trucks carry packages for convenience stores, tankers transport oil... These systems combine intricately to sustain modern life. Similarly, there is a mechanism within our bodies that transports cargo. My research focuses on this transport system - intracellular transport.

My focus is on motor proteins, which function as vehicles within cells. Motor proteins are typically in a brake-locked state (inactive form) to prevent energy waste. However, when cargo is loaded, the brake is released, activating them to start moving. The mechanism underlying this process is still not well understood.

I am using a technique called single-molecule observation, which allows the observation of the movement of individual protein molecules, to investigate the mechanism by which motor proteins are activated. Mutations in motor protein genes are related to various human diseases. By elucidating how motor proteins are activated, I hope to contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of these diseases and establishing therapeutic approaches.

Related Posts