2017 Science of Metabolism

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Life Science and Technology
Hisabori Toru  Hirasawa Takashi  Nakashima Nobutaka  Shiraki Nobuaki 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(J221,W831)  Fri1-2(J221,W831)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

Cellular metabolism is required to obtain the energy for growth and is closely related to cellular responses and diseases. This course will provide an overview of cellular responses and diseases in microorganisms, plants and animals from a viewpoint of metabolism.
The aim of this course is to learn the cellular responses and diseases in organisms and application of their knowledge to the fields of engineering and medical science.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the metabolic regulations in microbial cells and explain the technologies and examples of bioproduction using microbial cells as factories.
2) Understand differences among metabolic pathways in plants, animals, and microbes, and explain bioproduction using plant-biofactories.
3)Understand the metabolic regulations in stem cells and explain its applications to drug discovery research and regenerative medicine.


Microorganisms, Metabolic regulations, Metabolic engineering, Bioproduction, Stem cells, Amino acid metabolism, Glucose metabolism, Nucleic acid medicine, Photosynthesis, Plant-biofactories

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Students should familiarize themselves with topics described in the required learning section before coming to the class. Towards the end of the class, students might be given exercise problems related to what is taught on that day to solve.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Overview of microbial metabolisms Review the cellular metabolisms studied in undergraduate major courses.
Class 2 What is metabolic engineering? Explain the definition of metabolic engineering and methodology of metabolic engineering
Class 3 Understanding of metabolic regulations in microorganisms by systems biology Understand the metabolic regulations investigated by systems biology and bioproduction taking into consideration of such regulations
Class 4 Bioproduction using microbial cell factories Study the strategies for bioproduction using microbial cell factories and recent progresses of bioproductions
Class 5 Metabolic flux analysis Understand the methodology for analyzing intracellular metabolic fluxes
Class 6 Microbial populations and metabolism Study metabolism of microbial populations in environments and their survival strategy.
Class 7 Microbial metabolisms understood by massive DNA/RNA sequences Study how to obtain and analyze massive DNA/RNA sequences of environmental microbes, and view metabolism from such the sequence information.
Class 8 Metabosism and Nucleic acid medicine Study the history, principle, and application way of nucleic acid medicine, and discuss about its problem and future perspective.
Class 9 Metabolism of plants and genetic engineering Study plant specific metabolism and know how to engineer plants genetically.
Class 10 Production of valuable compounds with plant-biofactories Study plant-biofactories and its usage for production of valuable compounds.
Class 11 Overview of stem cell metabolism Review the energy metabolism in embryonic and somatic stem cells
Class 12 Glucose metabolism of stem cells Review the glucose metabolism studied in undergraduate major courses , and understand the glucose metabolism of stem cells
Class 13 Amino acid metabolism of stem cells Understand the amino acid metabolism of stem cells, and its role in the pluripotency and differentiation of stem cells
Class 14 Stem cell metabolism for drug discovery Understand the stem cell metabolism reserch using disease-specific iPS cells for drug discovery
Class 15 Stem cell metabolism for regenerative medicine Understand the regenerative medicine research using unique metabolic properties of stem cells


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are provided during class and can be found on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Each instructor will give report assignment related to the lecture. Based on your submitted reports, students will be assessed on their achievements described in "Student learning outcomes."

Related courses

  • 400-level graduate major courses in Life Science and Technology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

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