CREST/IHEC, Team Japan

The CREST/IHEC, Team Japan started in 2011 as one of the main projects of the CREST program "Development of Fundamental Technologies for Diagnosis and Therapy Based upon Epigenome Analysis (Disease Epigenome)" supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). CREST stands for "Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology". The specific CREST program “Disease Epigenome” is funded with an amount of 50-60 million US Dollars over eight years, and is supervised by Prof. Masayuki Yamamoto, Tohoku University and Prof. Toshikazu Ushijima, National Cancer Center Research Institute. This program has been taken over from JST to the Japan Agency of Medical Research and Development (AMED), which was newly established in April 2015.

Overall project goal

The CREST/IHEC, Team Japan is composed of three project teams. Research teams will produce reference epigenomes of human cells as contribution to IHEC, specializing in the analysis of gastrointestinal epithelial cells, vascular endothelial cells, and cells of reproductive organs. 

The CREST/IHEC is also engaged in scientific issues related to reference epigenomes, such as diversity of the epigenomes addressing heterogeneity in cancer, new methods for epigenome analysis, and epigenetics research on obstetric and gynecological diseases. Such an integrated approach is expected to make a breakthrough in diagnosis and therapy. 

Three project teams of CREST/IHEC and Cell type

Team Kanai

"Reference epigenome analysis in normal epithelial cells of human digestive system and development of analysis technology"

  • Principle Investigator: Dr Yae Kanai, Deputy Director, National Cancer Center Research Institute (NCC)
  • Target tissues: Epithelial cells of the digestive system
  • Interest: Cancer
  • Members: Dr Tatsuhiro Shibata (NCC), Dr. Yutaka Suzuki (University of Tokyo), and Dr Takashi Ito (University of Tokyo)

Team Shirahige

"Development of genomic technologies to explore human epigenetic regulation"

  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Katsuhiko Shirahige, Professor, University of Tokyo
  • Target tissues: Vascular endothelial cells (12 positions)
  • Interest: Small-scale analysis, antibody / diabetic angiopathy, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer
  • Members: Dr Youichiro Wada (University of Tokyo), Dr Hiroshi Kimura (Osaka University), and Dr Totai Mitsuyama (Advanced Institute for Science and Technology)

Team Sasaki

"Epigenomic analysis of the human placenta and endometrium constituting the fetal-maternal interface"

  • Principle Investigator: Dr. Hiroyuki Sasaki, Distinguished Professor and Director, Kyushu University
  • Target Tissue: Placenta (2 cell types), Endometrium (3 cell types)
  • Interest: Pregnancy-induced hypertension, hydatidiform mole, and endometriosis
  • Members: Dr Takahiro Arima (Tohoku University), Dr Kenichiro Hata (National Research Institute for Child Health and Development), and Dr Mikita Suyama (Kyushu University)

For more information on CREST/IHEC, Team Japan, please see: http://crest-ihec.jp/english/index.html