Virology

This Department conducts basic and applied research on arthropod-borne (arbo) viruses; such as Japanese encephalitis virus, dengue virus, Zika virus, chikungunya virus, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus, and highly pathogenic viruses; filoviruses and novel coronaviruses.

Members

Professor
Kouichi Morita
Associate Professor
Yuki Takamatsu
Associate Professor
Mya Myat Ngwe Tun
Assistant Professor
Takeshi Nabeshima
Assistant Professor
Jean Claude Palma Balingit
Assistant Professor
Khine Mya Nwe
Visiting Professor
Masanobu Ago
Visiting Professor
Basu Dev Pandey
Visiting Professor
Daisuke Hayasaka
Visiting Researcher
Toru Kubo
Visiting Researcher
Akira Yoshikawa
Visiting Researcher
Reo Uchida
Assistant
Kazumi Jodai
Assistant
Kimiko Taniguchi
Assistant
Hiroko Kawabata
Graduate Student
Nguyen Thanh Vu
Graduate Student
Mizuki Fukuda
Graduate Student
Xu Qiang
Graduate Student
Ngan Nguyen Thi Thanh
Undergraduate Student
Norihiro Matsumoto

Activities

Intra-cellular dynamics analyses for highly pathogenic viruses

High-resolution microscopy (e.g. live cell imaging) is used to visualize the life cycle of viruses in infected cells and to elucidate the mechanisms of virus particle formation.

Molecular epidemiology of arboviruses

Molecular epidemiological analysis of dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, chikungunya virus, novel coronaviruses and other viruses isolated in Asia and Africa to clarify virus migration and evolution to reveal viral factors related to the mechanism of disease severity and expansion.

Research on vaccine development using reverse genetics

We have developed DENV infectious clones and identified viral determinants by modifying various parts of the genes. We are currently developing genetically engineered viruses as candidates for live attenuated DENV vaccines by financial support of GHIT.

Research on therapeutic drugs/vaccines development using reverse genetics

By using reverse genetics, recombinant viruses are constructed to identify viral factors regulating viral proliferation in cells and viral pathogenicity in animals are comparatively analyzed to establish the basis for the development of new therapeutic agents and vaccines.

Development of rapid diagnostic assay for infectious diseases

We also aim to contribute to the improvement of public health in Asia and Africa through the construction of novel diagnostic methods for viral infections, such as PCR, LAMP, immunochromatography and ELISA.

Activities as a WHO Collaborating Center

The department is designated as a WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Tropical Viral Diseases since 1993 and currently our department has been re-designated as a center for Tropical and Emerging Virus Diseases. The center has been collaborating with WHO in training WHO fellows from many developing countries and has deployed experts as WHO short-term consultants. From 2020 March, the laboratory is working as WHO Reference Centre for COVID-19.

Recent main research achievement

  1. Fujita-Fujiharu et al. Nature Communications 2022;13:1191.
  2. Kendra et al. Antiviral Research 2021;192:1-13.
  3. Takamatsu et al. Journal of Virology 2020;94(9):1-19.
  4. Takamatsu et al. mBio 2020;11(1):1-17.
  5. Takamatsu et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018;115(5):1-19.

Achievement list