Vol.9, January 1st, 1970


  • CREST project starts at Theoretical Biology Laboratory
  • Special Theoretical Science Colloquium
  • Upcoming Event
  • Person of the Week

Person of the week

Toshiaki Iitaka



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.

CREST project starts at Theoretical Biology Laboratory

Atsushi Mochizuki, Interdisciplinary Theoretical Biology Team


We recently obtained a five-years research funding from CREST JST in the area of "Creation of Fundamental Technologies for Understanding and Control of Biosystem Dynamics". In this project we will study dynamics of complex network systems in biology by combining mathematical theories and experimental verifications. We will collaborate with three groups of experimental biologists including lab. of Dr. Sako, who is an experimental advisor of iTHES. I'm thinking to have opportunities for interaction between iTHES members and our CREST project in near future. By the integration of the projects, we can promote the connection between theoretical and experimental sciences in biology further more.

Special Theoretical Science Colloquium


We are going to have a special Theoretical Science Colloquium jointly organized by RIKEN iTHES and Kavli IPMU on Dec.4 (Wed.)
(See the upcoming event below.)
Coffee/tea and cakes will be served from 2:30pm in front of the lecture room (2nd floor of the RIBF building: The building no.45 of E-3 area in http://www.riken.jp/en/access/wako-map/#campus_map ).
Please join together with your colleagues!

Upcoming Event

Person of the Week


Toshiaki Iitaka
Leaping as frogs

My research interest is the material properties at planetary conditions: In situ observation of the interior of Earth, such as crust, mantle and core, is very limited due to the depth, pressure and temperature. Only surface observations of earthquake propagation, geomagnetic fields, etc. are feasible. It’s like clapping a watermelon and guessing the inside. Interior of other solar and extrasolar planets becomes more and more difficult to observe. Therefore theoretical and computational prediction based on the basic principles of quantum mechanics plays an important role in planetary science. The knowledge of Earth’s interior will pave the way to understand the history of Earth and the origin of Life as Prof. Maruyama explained in the first iTHES colloquium. One of my approaches to this problem is developing a computer program for crystal structure prediction to constrain the interior structure of planets. The program generates initial crystal structures randomly and explores the free energy landscape in the phase space for finding the most stable and metastable crystal structures under the given pressure and temperature. We have already successfully discovered new crystal structures, which turned out to have very interesting properties. Since crystal structure prediction has common algorithms with protein structure prediction and nuclear structure prediction, I expect fruitful exchange of ideas with researchers in iTHES community.

As a Colloquium Committee member, I always enjoy iTHES colloquiums and seminars, where all iTHES members are eager to leap into the heated discussions overriding the barriers around their own home fields. No frog wants to stay in the well. So, I am confident of the iTHES’s success. If you are a frog-enthusiast, please visit my FROG site, too.