Student written Research Laboratory Guidebook 2025Nagaoka University of Technology

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Laboratory of Microbial Metabolic Engineering

Professor / MASAI Eiji  Associate Professor / KAMIMURA Naofumi
  • Microbial conversion of wood components into platform chemicals
  • Realizing a low-carbon society through plant biomass utilization
  • Cutting-edge research on lignin utilization through microbial metabolism

Professor / MASAI Eiji, Accociate Professor / KAMIMURA Naofumi
Prof. Masai and Kamimura are very enthusiastic about research and are great role models. They provide friendly consultation on everything from student life to research. This support enables students to have successful academic lives.

Research Content

Establishing the use of plant biomass is a key to achieving a global concern of having a low-carbon society. Lignin, which accounts for about 15-30% of the cell wall components of plants, is the most abundant aromatic resource, but its effective utilization has not yet been established. In our laboratory, all aspects involved in the bacterial catabolism of lignin-derived aromatic compounds have been studied for many years. Our findings, obtained by elucidating the mechanism of lignin degradation by bacteria, can be applied in the production of useful substances. The efficient utilization of lignin is necessary to realize a low-carbon society.

Analysis of bacterial metabolites using a high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

A Day in the Lab

In our laboratory, core time begins at 10:00 a.m., and experiments are conducted at the discretion of the individual. About every two weeks, we present a research meeting and engage in a heated discussion with the professors and several lab members. Daily discussions refine research results, which are actively presented at domestic and international conferences, resulting in high student growth. Apart from research activities, our laboratory is very active with many events.

Group photo of laboratory members

Thesis Subjects

  • (M)Analysis of the inner membrane transport systems for lignin-derived aromatic compounds in Sphingomonad strains
  • (M)Microbial production of 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid from lignin
  • (M)Development of microbial production of a new building block for bio-based polymers from lignin

The number of
PhD Graduates


Major employers of Graduates

  • Hirosaki University
  • Forest Reserch and Management Organization
  • Oji Paper Co., Ltd.
  • Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
  • Daio Paper Corporation
  • Nikki-Universal Co., Ltd.
  • Maruha Nichiro Corporation
  • Futamura Chemical Co., Ltd
  • Takasago Thermal Engineering Co., Ltd.
  • Information Technology Promotion Agency, Japan
Writer : KAWAZOE Mitsuru, Civil Engineering and Bioengineering
(National Institute of Technology, Matsue College)