1)Study of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates
Carbohydrates exist in numerous forms in living organisms as glycoconjugates, complexed with proteins, lipids, phosphoric acids and so on. Their proposed functions as mediators of complex cellular events are closely associated with various biological phenomena, such as fertilization, cell differentiation, cancer metastasis, viral/bacterial infection, and aging. In most cases, however, the molecular mechanisms are not yet satisfactorily understood. This is because the diversity in structure, due to bonding positions, branch structures and configurations, makes the carbohydrate chemistry very complicated. The Noguchi Institute is developing unique techniques to synthesize and evaluate these complex compounds. We are making every effort to elucidate and utilize the functions of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates, which have infinite possibilities in life science in the post-genomic era.
2)Study of catalyst materials
In the 20th century, the dramatic advances in chemistry, which gave human beings an enriched lifestyle, also had some negative effects such as nature destruction and environmental pollution. To reconsider how chemistry and chemists should be, "Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC)" is advocated. The basic philosophy is to make chemists conscious of their social responsibilities and have them contribute through innovations in chemical technologies to achieving an environment which is healthy and safe for humans and other creatures and simultaneously sustaining the growth of society. The Noguchi Institute is studying catalyst materials for achieving GSC. We are conducting researches into the purification of automobile emissions, fuel cells, and environmentally benign recycle processes using super Lewis acid catalysts.