Health and Environmental Sciences

Our proximate goal is to analyze gene-environmental interactions for development of adverse health effects. As environmental factors, persistent organic pollutants, nutrition and working conditions are within our research scope. Laboratory works, genetic epidemiology and field studies are routinely used to solve the problems. Our long-term goal is to practice preventive measures based on our findings. Candidates with public health mind, from any disciplines, will be welcome.

Research and Education
We are exposed to various health hazards. These are found in routine life styles, diets, environmental pollutants and occupational settings. To build rational preventive measures, both susceptive genetic determinants and environmental factors should be taken into account.

@When our global environment was clean, a phenotype susceptible to dioxins or to formaldehyde had never emerged as a public health issue. However, as our environment is contaminated with chemicals, phenotypes associated with chemical exposures have emerged as an important public health issue: for example formaldehyde causes asthma in some people while it does not in others. In short, changes in environment always have revealed new phenotypes and brought new public health issues. We therefore consider it critical to dissect gene-environmental interactions in a dynamic state. On this basis, we would like to conduct public health practices.

Currently, three projects are ongoing. The first one is to find susceptible genes for the familial intracranial aneurysms, which causes SAH at occupational settings, so called gKarou Shih (death due to overwork). In this program, we are trying to establish a screening program for high-risk individuals (figures) at occupational settings. Arteriovenous malformation and Moyamoya disease are also analyzed in our laboratory from a viewpoint of preventive medicine. In the second project, we are assessing levels of exposure to persistent organic pollutants in a 30-year span. In this project, we are building the Environmental Sample Bank which is open to the public. In parallel we are investigating pharmacological actions of organofluorine compounds at molecular levels. In the last project, we are working on life style diseases. In this project we have conducted a new method to investigate the cause and to develop the therapy.