What's new

April 12, 2019: Web site opened.
April 30, 2019: Registration opened.


In a living body, a variety of molecules are working in concerted manner to maintain their life, and to inherit the genetic information from generation to generation. In that respect, life embodies two aspects, one as molecules (or matter) and the other as information. Needless to say, protein, RNA, and DNA are among the main players of the life theater. However, those so called the biomolecules by themselves cannot play their intrinsic roles without water, or may not even exist in the universe. Let us see this by taking an enzymatic reaction as an example, which is a protein to catalyze a chemical reaction. Firstly, an enzyme should take a specific structure referred to as "native conformation" to be able to work as a catalyst, which has a cavity to accommodate substrate molecules of the reaction. Without water, a protein cannot take such a specific structure. Secondly, an enzyme should bind and/or unbind substrate molecules at the cavity or active site. The process, called molecular recognition, is controlled by hydration and dehydration processes. Thirdly, the both processes are regulated by another physicochemical process referred to as structural fluctuation that in turn is governed by the hydration free energy. And, finally, a water molecule itself becomes a substrate of a chemical reaction called hydrolysis that is the most abundant reactions taking place in our body. So, life phenomena are woven by water as warp and biomolecules as woof. The workshop focuses on ways how life phenomena are woven by water and biomolecules from experimental and theoretical viewpoints.
The workshop is held at Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute (Toyota Riken) in the city of Nagakute, located right next to Nagoya. The name of the city is popular among Japanese people as one of an old battlefield back in the 16th century. The city is also famous with the place where the 2005 World Exposition was held. Toyota Riken is a part of Toyota corporations, featuring basic researches in natural science. The title of workshop is connected to the founder of the corporation, Sakichi Toyota, who invented an automated loom that created a revolution in the textile industry.

Date and Place

Date: September 4 - 6, 2019
Place: Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute