Division of Biophysical ChemistryDepartment of Pharmaceutical Health Care,
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Himeji Dokkyo University


 Molecular dynamics of drug deliveries to lipid bilayer membranes is crucial as a primary stage of bioactivities in the cell. A noninvasive strategy to analyze dynamic properties of drugs and biomembrane constituents is developed, to quantify how much, how fast, and how efficiently drugs are bound to membrane, and how fast drugs are moving within the membrane in situ. In-cell NMR spectroscopy is also applied to analyze drug transport in real time, without undesirable perturbation of the cell.


Real-time in-situ 1H NMR was realized to gain insight into the initial stage of aggregation in wile-type and mutants of amyloid-β fragment prior to fibril formation. (E. Okamura, K. Aki, Pure and Applied Chemistry 2020; 10.1515/pac-2019-1201.)
Dr. Aki and Prof. Okamura have found that side-chain conformers of aspartyl isomers are the potential factors to permit the abnormal accumulation in aged crystallins and amyloid-β. (K. Aki, E. Okamura, BBA-Proteins and Proteomics, 1868, 140483 (2020).)
Isomerization of amino acids was quantified by NMR in real time without perturbation of the system. "Isomerization of aspartyl residue in amyloid beta fragments: The kinetics by real-time 1H NMR under neutral and basic conditions" K. Aki, E. Okamura, J. Soln. Chem., in press.
Dr. Aki was promoted to Specially Appointed Assistant Professor.
Prof. Okamura delivered an Invited Lecture in 「OKINAWA COLLOIDS 2019」, Nago, Okinawa, Japan.
Prof. Okamura delivered a lecture in The 4th International Conference of D-Amino Acid Research (IDAR2019), Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Aki also presented a paper at IDAR2019.
Prof. Okamura delivered an Invited Lecture at the 36th International Conference on Solution Chemistry, Xining, China. Dr. Aki was also selected as one of the Top 5 Poster Winners (Excellent).
In-cell NMR was realized to monitor non-endocytic cell membrane translocation of octaarginine in real time.
(Y. Takechi-Haraya et al., Pharmaceuticals, 10, 42 (2017))
An article entitled,
"Regulation of Phospholipid Protrusion in the Cell Sized
VesiclebyHydrophobic Bisphenol A" was selected as the Membrane Society of Japan 2015 the Best Paper in Membrane.
Y. Takechi et al., Membrane, 40, 38-45 (2015)
Dr. Aki and Prof. Okamura performed real-time NMR observation of
spontaneous peptide bond cleavage inlens α-crystallin fragment, to show less reactivity of D-β-aspartic acid to allow abnormal accumulation in aged lens. (K. Aki, E. Okamura, Sci, Rep. 6, 21594 (2016))
Professor Emiko Okamura was awarded the 2013 Research Grant from Hyogo Science and Technology Association.
"Slow Tumbling but Large Protrusion of Phospholipids in the Cell Sized Giant Vesicle"
Y. Takechi, H. Saito, E. Okamura, Chem. Phys. Lett., 570, 136-140 (2013)
"Lateral Diffusion of Lipids Separated from Rotational and Translational Diffusion of a Fluid Large Unilamellar Vesicle"
N. Yoshii, T. Emoto, E. Okamura, Colloids Surf. B: Biointerfaces, 106, 22-27 (2013)
Profs. Yoshii and Okamura received the Japan Oil Chemists' Society Oleoscience Editor's Award.
"Binding of Hydrophobic Fluorinated Bisphenol A to Large Unilamellar Vesicles of Egg Phosphatidylcholine" (N. Yoshii and E. Okamura, J. Phys. Chem. B, 115, 11074-11080 (2011))
Professor Emiko Okamura was selected as a member of a project "Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas" by MEXT Japan, entitled Molecular Science of Fluctuations toward Biological Functions. (July 27, 2009)
"Kinetics of Membrane Binding and Dissociation of 5-Fluorouracil by Pulsed Field Gradient 19F NMR" (N. Yoshii and E. Okamura, Chem. Phys. Lett. 474, 357-361 (2009))
Professor Emiko Okamura was awarded the 2008 Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant. (March 16, 2009)
"Drug Binding and Mobility in Membrane in situ by Multinuclear, Dynamic NMR"
E. Okamura and N. Yoshii, J. Chem. Phys. 129, 215102 (2008)
The English site has been opened.