Introduction of the Research
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Introduction of Advisory Board Members

Shuji Akai (Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University)

Shuji Akai (Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University)
There used to be laboratories where Ph.D. graduates and those returning from studying abroad were employed to conduct researches and could learn from each other through impassioned discussions. Later they got jobs at universities or public institutions, have been promoted to professors, and now play active roles in education and research. Thus, these laboratories served as a gateway to success for young researchers; however, most of them were unfortunately closed because of various circumstances. Under such situation, the fact that Itsuu Laboratory has continued its research activity for more than 100 years is extremely meaningful. The current Itsuu Laboratory, opened in a new location in 2014, is unique in Japan, which provides young researchers opportunities to freely carry out research activities with four advisory board members who are active professors specialized in diverse areas of organic chemistry.
Each researcher can execute and realize his/her ideas with his/her own hands without any restrictions. They can immerse themselves in research as they wish. Nothing is more fun. We hope that the young researchers make full use of this blessed environment and totally engaged in their work without rushing. We also advise them to have hot discussion among their peers and purely enjoy their own researches. It is very luxurious to have such time when young, and one can only experience it at this time in one’s life.
We welcome young vibrant researchers who wish to build up their skills in this laboratory to take the next step.

Tomohiko Ohwada, Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Tomohiko Ohwada, Professor, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo
The new “Itsuu Laboratory” is a research laboratory holding the noble concept of incubating young researcher talents who have just earned their Ph.D. degrees. It would be right to say that there is hardly similar place anywhere else in Japan. Whether young researchers go into academia, study abroad, or get a job in a company in the future, they will all live as experts in chemistry.
As it can be perceived in the state of the Japanese industries for the recent years, there is no such thing as a stable career path. I have been involved in the academic society for 30 years, where research has trends, but many trends only last for 5 to 6 years. Although it can be promising to be a part of a trend, some people find themselves that they eventually regret it, and wonder what they have been studying all that time after 10 or 15 years. In order to avoid this, it is important to think carefully and take the initiative to look for research themes after earning the degree, rather than becoming part of a trend.
I hope that such young talents would gather and grow, and I look forward to learning from these young people, too.

Research Advisor

Kin-ichi Tadano

Research Advisor Kin-ichi Tadano
I was a part of the teaching staff of Keio University for 40 years, with natural product synthesis being my primary field of research, before retiring in 2013. Since April 2016, I have been a research advisor at the Itsuu Laboratory in the field of organic chemistry, focusing on the synthesis of new substances, and have been sharing the joy of making discoveries and obtaining research results with young postdoctoral fellows.
Here at the Itsuu Laboratory, we have a very blessed research environment that sets research themes and emphasizes, more than anything, the importance of providing young researchers with the independence to plan their future.
Unlimited possibilities can be opened for the future for next-generation researchers who have thus far learned a lot in graduate schools as students and attained their doctorate degrees. Spending a certain period here at the Itsuu Laboratory and choosing to plan one’s future by further enhancing one’s skills and talents as a researcher surely proves to be very useful later on in life. Besides, it is especially important for researchers to deepen their friendship with their peers on a daily basis, and work hard together.
The Itsuu Laboratory awaits the active participation of motivated people.

Introduction of Researchers

Akane Yamada

Akane Yamada

Personal history

  • Graduated from Faculty of Engineering, Nagasaki University
  • Graduated with Ph.D. (Engineering), Graduate School of Engineering, Nagasaki University
  • Postdoctoral Researcher at Nagasaki University

Affiliated academic associations

  • The Chemical Society of Japan
  • The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan


  • Dynamic kinetic resolution of allylic esters with lipase/palladium co-catalytic system

Yoshihiro Tachihara

Yoshihiro Tachihara

Personal history

  • Graduated from Department of Material Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Ibaraki College
  • Graduated from Course of Environment and Life Science, Department of Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology
  • Graduated with Ph.D. (Engineering), Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo


  • Development of Complex Material of Macrocyclic Drug via Host-Guest Chemistry

A Cotribution Article

Hisashi Yamamoto, Professor and Directore, Molecular Catalyst Research Center, Chubu University


Gifu Pharmaceutical University (Assistant Professor), Juzen Chemical Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Osaka University (Specially-Appointed Assistant Professor), Takasaki University of Health and Welfare (Assistant Professor), Tohoku University (Assistant Professor), Gifu University (Assistant Professor), Tohoku University (Lecturer), Hiroshima University (Assistant Professor), Meiji Pharmaceutical University (Assistant Professor), Kyoto University (Program-Specific Assistant Professor), University of Pennsylvania (Postdoctoral Researcher), Tokyo University of Science (Assistant Professor), etc.

Structure Formula List of the Natural Products Totally Synthesized (PDF)

Structure Formula List of the Natural Products Totally Synthesized in ITSUU Laboratory (1968 - 2004)

Since its establishment on June 10, 1915, in Ashide-machi of Shiba-ku, Tokyo, Japan, the Itsuu Laboratory has moved to Aoyama Minami-machi of Akasaka-ku in 1917 and Kinnocho of Shibuya-ku in 1934. During this period, in 1938, the laboratory was approved as an incorporated foundation. In its 51st year since inception, the laboratory was moved to its present location in Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, in 1966. This was a period in which new trends were observed in the field of organic chemistry as well. Until then, chemistry on natural products was focused on the structural determination of natural organic compounds, but in addition to such research, this period saw full-scale attempts globally to reproduce these compounds by total synthesis.
The Itsuu Laboratory has an important theme of research called “Pharmaceutical study of aromatic heterocyclic bases.” The goal is to establish new reactions using nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds such as pyridine, isoquinoline, and indole as building blocks and then to use them for synthesizing natural products and physiologically active substances. The Itsuu Laboratory has always adhered the following research steps: i) finding a unique reaction and then ii) using this reaction as part of the total synthesis protocol of natural products to demonstrate its usefulness.
This list provides structural formulas of natural organic compounds reproduced by total synthesis at the Itsuu Laboratory between 1968 and 2004.