Light as a medicine !?

  • 3.Good health and well-being
  • 7.Affordable and clean energy

Social Background

Medicinal products treat diseases by “controlling the biological function”, but it requires huge costs and much time. In addition, the success rate is extremely low. Therefore, novel  concept is required to develop new medicinal products.

Overview and Objectives

Biological function is controlled by hydrolysis energy of adenosine triphosphate (52 kJ/mol), while solar energy is more than four times larger (240 kJ/mol). From this, I have conceived that "control of biological function is possible with light  (i.e., light become a medicinal product). Then, I have isolated and identified novel photoreceptor protein rhodopsin from nature, performed functional and structural analysis, and realized artificial control of biological function such as motility, neuronal activity, and cell death, by using light. I would like to contribute to health and energy problems in future.

Expected effects

My research is a completely novel idea for the medicine. By using my approach, diseases will be treated by light with genetically encoded rhodopsin protein.