Vol.12, January 1st, 1970


  • Upcoming Event
  • Event Report
  • Person of the Week
  • Visitors

Person of the week

Masashi Tachikawa



From the Office

The office of iTHES assistant, Ms.Chikako Oota is situated at the first floor of the main research building, room # 159. The extension number is 3185. She will be at the office from 10 a.m. to 16 p.m. except on Wednesday.

Upcoming Event

Event Report


Interdisciplinary mini-workshop on non-equilibrium physics supported by iTHES was held at Department of Physics, Kyoto University on Dec. 7 ? 8, 2013. The purpose of this workshop is to focus on active interaction of the participants working in different research areas. About 30 people gathered from areas such as condensed matter, statistical, particle and nuclear physics. Eight selected talks were presented. We had active discussions, and shared ideas, approaches and techniques. In the photo, Dr. Robert Johansson (RIKEN iTHES cond-mat team) is discussing the superconducting circuits. The slides of the talks can be downloaded from the web-page,

Person of the Week


Masashi Tachikawa

My name is Masashi Tachikawa. I received a Ph.D. in physics from Nagoya University in 2004. After that, I worked as a post-doc at Kaneko Laboratory at The University of Tokyo. I joined Theoretical Biology Laboratory in 2010. My resent research interest is physical properties of biological materials and their roles in cellular functions. Biomaterials are sticky. They often show nonlinear responses to the perturbations, or change responses depending on the histories of perturbations. These complex responses are necessary for cellular functions. Cell modifies the amount, localization, and interaction of components (proteins) of biomaterials to control their physical properties and control its function. In particular, I am interested in membrane-bounded cellular subunits, organelles. Their sizes are in the range of 100nm to 10μm. Mitochondrion, Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum are examples of organelles. They are identified with their unique shapes, which are attractive features of organelles. Various membrane-integrated proteins locally modify physical properties of membrane, and deform it. Their interactions generate the organelle shapes in a self-organized manner. Since these shapes are considered to be tightly linked to their functions, studying how they are made is fundamental subject in biology. The difficulties in the organelle shape study are: first, only snapshots of their shapes are observed by electron-microscopy and their dynamical behaviors are not observable, second, we little know about what kinds of components (proteins) ensure their shapes. To study the formation of organelle, I constructed coarse-grained membrane simulator, where membrane shape is expressed with dynamically triangulated polygons and Monte-Carlo method is employed for membrane deformation dynamics. Proteins which give curves to the membrane are also incorporated. With the simulator I am investigating what properties of membrane and proteins are necessary to generate particular organelle shapes. So far, I am struggling with shapes of Golgi apparatus, autophagic body, and caveolae. My study concerns many fields of science including biology, chemistry, molecular science and physics. So I hope to learn and to have good corroboration in iTHES.



Dr. Kenji Maeda (Colorado School of Mines)
Quantum many-body theory of cold atoms and molecules
Dec13 (Fri.) - Dec.20(Fri.) 2013
room 431, 4th floor, Main Research Building