Minoru Saitoe is the vice-director of TMIMS, the head of the Learning and Memory Project, the director of the Center for Basic Technology Research, and a visiting professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University. Dr. Saitoe received his B.A. in Organic Chemistry from Osaka University, his M.S. in Biochemistry from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo for studying physiological functions of gap junctions during Ascidian neural development. Currently, his research focus is to elucidate mechanisms involved in Drosophila learning and memory and synaptic plasticity. He is especially interested in glial-neuron networks, functional diversity of the monoamine system, and age-related memory impairments. Other interests include the molecular and neural bases of psychological phenomenon such as empathy and causality.
Learning and memory are important higher brain functions that represent fundamental mental activity and the maintenance of proper learning and memory function is necessary for maintaining quality of life.
This project aims to understand how the brain memorizes, stores, and as necessary, recalls important information by elucidating the activity of neural and molecular pathways responsible for storage. Simultaneously, it explores at the molecular and circuit levels the causes of memory dysfunction that arises due to aging and neuropsychiatric disease to provide basic data that may contribute toward apposite countermeasures.
Project Leader Minoru Saitoe