Division of Travel Medicine and Health
From the perspective of contributing to the invasion of infectious diseases across national borders and its epidemics, we aim to practice research and medical care related to travel medicine, vaccination, and international health care. Furthermore, in order to respond to the spread of acute emerging infectious diseases and the potential risk of spread of chronic infectious diseases, we promote international research on infectious diseases, and collaborate between clinical and basic researches in overseas infectious disease-endemic areas.
Professor Akira Nishizono Professor Masayuki Ohta Professor Kazufumi Hiramatsu Associate Professor Kosaku Komiya
Division of One Health
From the perspective of “one health”, which considers infectious diseases not only with humans but also with animals and the environment, we plan to quickly detect genomic information of infectious microorganisms from patients, animals, and the environment and feeds this information back to clinical practice in the form of test data. Furthermore, we aim to promote epidemiological surveys of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases as international collaborative research using an international laboratory network.
Professor Akira Nishizono Assistant Professor Takaaki Yahiro
Division of Pathophysiology
The Division of Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases promotes research on the pathogenesis of infectious diseases based on a new molecular basis through the further development of research in bacteriology, virology, parasitology, and infectious immunology that has been conducted at our university and through joint research with other universities. Furthermore, drug discovery research for infectious diseases is conducted based on the knowledge obtained from basic research for the diagnosis and pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging infectious pathogens.
Professor Naoto Uemura Professor Takashi Kobayashi Professor Masao Ogata Professor Emi Hifumi Associate Professor Hidekatsu Iha
Division of Genome-wide Microbiology
In this division, we make full use of next-generation sequencers, portable sequencers to analyze the entire genome of target bacteria, viruses, and parasites from specimens obtained from the infected prefecture or endemic areas around the world. In particular, by developing genome-wide association studies on the microbial side, we contribute to the discovery of unknown pathogenic factors and unknown antibacterial resistance factors, as well as the development of new therapeutic methods.
Professor Yosio Yamaoka Professor Hitomi Mimuro Assistant Professor Tomohiro Miyoshi
Being the only medical rabies research facility in Japan, we aim to develop effective vaccines and antiviral drugs based on the results of basic research. Furthermore, based on the long track record of academic exchanges between Oita University and the Republic of The Philippines, we also work to eradicate rabies, an incurable infectious disease, from the Philippines through the “Science and Technology Cooperation Program on Global Challenges (SATREPS)” project sponsored by JICA and AMED. Using the knowledge gained from this project, we conduct zoonosis research for animal rabies control and human rabies prevention and treatment from the perspective of “One Health” and NTDs control, as well as conducting research commissioned by WHO and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).
Helicobacter pylori research
Oita University has been conducting molecular epidemiological research on H. pylori in developing countries for many years, and has actually conducted endoscopic examinations on-site in 14 countries, and has the world’s largest H. pylori bank with more than 10,000 strains.
Using next-generation sequencing of the H. pylori full genome, we explore novel virulence factors using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and using the same method to analyze novel antimicrobial resistance gene mutations. Functional analysis of candidate genes is conducted using organoids. In addition, we plan to develop gastric cancer eradication measures (primary and secondary prevention measures) in Bhutan based on clinical epidemiology in developing countries, which was adopted as a project of the Science and Technology Cooperation Program on Global Challenges (SATREPS) in 2021.
Drug discovery research for infectious diseases
The Translational Chemical Biology (TCB) Laboratory in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology plays a central role in the development of inhibitors by drug discovery targeting various viral non-structural proteins and has already succeeded in identifying candidate drugs for the treatment of rabies (Patent No. 6679059) and is applied to other therapeutic agents for viral infections.
Research and medical activities related to travel medicine
As a medical professional certified by the Japan Society of Travel and Health, we conduct research rooted in outpatient travel medicine. It has been involved in clinical research in Japan and overseas on vaccines required for overseas travel, such as the new coronavirus vaccine, consultations with returnees, preparation of guidelines, and introduction of new vaccines in Japan. It has also been involved in infectious disease control for international students as a health care provider at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu City.
Infectious immunology research
We conduct research on immune responses during infection with emerging infectious disease pathogens, analysis of aggravation mechanisms, and mosquito-borne infections by using genetically modified mice.
Research on new coronavirus
By analyzing the viral genome of the new coronavirus, we have started epidemiological research for early detection of the appearance of mutant strain in collaboration with the inspection departments of municipalities (Oita City, Oita Prefectural Institute of Health and Environment).
Support for multi-hazard
The threats to Oita Prefecture have become increasingly diverse, with heavy rains, earthquakes, and the spread of infectious diseases, and it has become an urgent issue to establish a crisis management system that can cope with complex disasters, rather than the single disaster countermeasures that have been used in the past. In cooperation with the Center for Education and Research of Disaster Risk Reduction and Redesign (CERD) and the Advanced Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care Center (ATEC3), we aim to build a crisis management system that can cope with multiple hazards and implement it in society, as well as support disaster-stricken areas and secure medical systems in disaster-stricken areas and infectious disease epidemic areas.