Department of Biological Sciences
Living organisms are dynamic systems in which a great variety of cells and molecules form complicated networks. In the Department of Biological Sciences of the Faculty of Science, we conduct basic research to understand how the diversity of living organisms originated, based on the structure and function of individual cells and their constituents. In particular, we focus on mechanisms that maintain homeostasis in basic cellular functions and organisms, as well as on principles involved in maintaining the continuity and diversity of life. Our research fields explore diverse topics at various levels in the biological hierarchy, from molecules and cells to systems and individual animals and plants.
The department of Biological Sciences is organized into four research groups. The first is “Cell Structure and Function”, which focuses on signaling mechanisms underlying higher-order cellular functions and on physiological mechanisms by which plants and bacteria adapt to environmental stresses. The second is “Behavioral Neurobiology”, which focuses on brain function in cognition and animal behavior. The third is “Reproductive and Developmental Biology”, which focuses on the molecular, cellular, and physiological underpinnings of animal ontogeny and phylogeny. The fourth research group, “Biodiversity”, tackles the evolutionary history of life, trying to establish classification schemes in various groups of organisms. It also addresses a wide variety of evolutionary issues including the mechanism of the formation of geographic variation, and the mechanism of the formation of new species, called speciation. With about 35 faculty members in 2015, the Department of Biological Sciences has one of the longest histories of any biology department in Japan, dating to establishment of the Departments of Zoology and Botany in 1930 and reorganized in its present form in 1993.