Researcher Information

Satoshi Maeda

Professor

Predicting paths of chemical reactions using computer

Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry

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Theme

Development and applications of automated reaction path search methods toward systematic analysis and prediction of chemical reactions

FieldTheoretical chemistry, Computational chemistry
KeywordTransition state, Reaction path search, Chemical kinetics
ProjectInstitute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (WPI-ICReDD)
JST-CREST "Molecular Technology"

Department of Chemistry, Physical Chemistry

Satoshi Maeda

Professor

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What is your dream that you want to achieve through your research?

Discovery of various chemical reactions leads to improvement of the convenience of our life, mitigation of environmental problems and food problems, and resolution of medical and healthcare problems. However, it is common to take more than ten years to discover one critical chemical reaction. My goal of research is to construct a framework that enables us to discover new chemical reactions one after another by making excellent use of computational chemistry using computers.

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Please briefly introduce us to the big project you have been tackling.

To realize the dream of discovering a succession of new chemical reactions, Hokkaido University established the Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (WPI-ICReDD). This project started from October 2018 as one of the “World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI)” programs supported by MEXT and JSPS. WPI-ICReDD accelerates the discovery of new chemical reactions significantly by highly fusing computational science, information science, and experimental science, and establishing a framework to design a chemical reaction on a computer and then experiment. In WPI-ICReDD, we invited three top researchers from the United States, France and Germany, in addition to 11 professors from Hokkaido University including myself, the Center Director, and a total of 14 principal investigators will tackle the goal together.

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What made you decide to become a researcher?

When I was an elementary school student, I watched Einstein’s special TV program and longed for the world of atoms and molecules. Even though I was thinking about a more solid future from junior high school to university, I found the joy of exploration while working on the university’s graduation research and began to reconsider my future. At the first year of Master’s degree, I started my research on the chemical reaction path, which I have been working on since, and was drawn to it. It attracted me so much that I went on to the doctoral course. After continuing to immerse more than 15 years in developing the research, I finally became a professor of Hokkaido university.