1. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus）infection
There are approximately 34 million people infected with HIV-1 in the world. More than 20,000 people have been positive for HIV-1 in Japan. HIV-1 infection is still spreading in some countries, so HIV infection is a viral infection that requires urgent regulatory and preventive action.
We are aiming to generate a novel molecular target for the eradication of the latently HIV-1 infected cells via analyzing the mechanism of HIV-1 latency.
2. HTLV (Human T-cell Leukemia Virus）infection
HTLV-1 is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). There are approximately 20 million people infected with HTLV-1 in the world. Japan is an endemic area and there are about one million people infected with HTLV-1.
In particular, there are lots of HTLV-1 carriers in Kyushu and Okinawa area including Kumamoto prefecture. Our laboratory is trying to develop novel therapeutic strategy or early diagnostic procedure for ATL and HTLV-1 related human diseases.
3. Interaction between retroviral research and human genomic research
HIV-1 and HTLV-1 genome contains just about 9,000 base pairs, but integration of such small retroviral genome into human genome sometimes causes fatal disease in the infected host.
Investigation of the mechanism how these small viruses utilize and disturb the host human genome in order to achieve persistent infection would be a quite unique scientific approach to understand the regulatory mechanism of human genome.