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Home > Introduction of our tenure-track faculties > Okano Taiji

Introduction of our tenure-track faculties

Okano Taiji

Affiliation Institute of Engineering
Division Division of Advanced Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Research field Microfluidics, Nonequilibrium physics, Synthetic biology
Keyword(S) Microfluidic device, Synchronization, Artificial cell model
Research experience

・Apr. 2008 - Mar. 2010: JSPS Research Fellow
・Apr. 2010 - Mar. 2014: Researcher, ERATO, JST
・Apr. 2014 - Mar. 2019: Assistant Professor, Chuo University
・Apr. 2019 - Aug. 2019: Researcher, Chuo University
・Sept. 2019 - present: Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Educational background

・Mar. 2004: Bachelor of Science, Fukuoka University
・Mar. 2006: Master of Science, Fukuoka University
・Mar. 2009: Ph.D. in Science, Fukuoka University

Selected papers and publications

・T. Okano, K. Inoue, and H. Suzuki, "Deformation Modes of Giant Unilamellar Vesicles Encapsulating Biopolymers", ACS Synthetic Biology 7, 739 (2018).
・H. Suzuki, K. Mitsuno, K. Shiroguchi, M. Tsugane, T. Okano, T. Dohi, and T. Tsuji, "One-step micromolding of complex 3D microchambers for single-cell analysis", Lab on a Chip 17, 647 (2017).
・T. Okano, T. Matsuura, Y. Kazuta, H. Suzuki, and T. Yomo, "Cell-free protein synthesis from a single copy of DNA in a glass microchamber", Lab on a Chip 12, 2704 (2012).
・T. Okano and K. Miyakawa, "Feedback-controlled dynamics in a two-dimensional array of active elements", Physical Review E 80, 026215 (2009).

Research Description

"Lifelikeness" is created by the high-level and elaborate interaction of biomolecules such as DNA and proteins. As it is unlikely that primitive organisms originally possessed such a mechanism, it is speculated that physical phenomena may have greatly influenced the determination of primitive cell behavior. Based on micro engineering, our laboratory utilizes knowledge in nonequilibrium physics and synthetic biology to investigate physical phenomena hidden deep in life phenomena, and explore physically possible scenarios where "lifelikeness" is generated from non-living things with the aim of constructing a physical model of cells.

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About TUAT's tenure-track program

I think the TUAT's tenure-track program is fulfilling because enough space and startup funding are provided. I also feel this program attractive for personal development as faculty member and researcher due to the assignment of students to my laboratory and an exchange meeting among tenure-track members.

Future aspirations

I am so excited to discover “something” that has not yet been discovered, with my students.