大阪市立大学・大学院理学研究科・細胞機能学研究室
Mycoplasma group -An exciting gliding party-
マイコプラズマグループ

配属と受験:Welcome to join us

※Please scroll down to see English text.

マイコ研究室へようこそ

私たちは,ヒト肺炎などで知られる病原性細菌,マイコプラズマの仲間,モリクテス綱運動のメカニズムをテーマとしています.研究室は1988年に始まり,1997年から運動の研究を行っています.Mycoplasma mobileの滑走運動は他に似たものもなく,ほとんど研究されたことのないユニークな現象でした.私たちは遺伝子とタンパク質,滑走装置とタンパク質の構造,結合対象,エネルギー源,力学特性,などの全てを共同研究者らと共に明らかにして,メカニズムのアウトラインと起源を提案しました.さらにその経験をもとにモリクテス綱のあと二つの運動能,すなわちMycoplasma pneumoniaeの滑走運動とSpiroplasma eriocheirisの遊泳運動のメカニズム,そして地球上の全生物の運動能の起源と変遷に迫りつつあります.
これらの研究は,遺伝子操作,電子顕微鏡解析,結晶構造解析,タンパク質化学,一分子光学計測,数理計算などの最先端技術と,何ごとにもとらわれない学際的かつ自由な発想と議論をもとに展開しています.私たちはまさに,“バクハツする生物学”を楽しんでいるのです.
研究室はロボットの活用,積極的な内部そして外部とのコミュニケーション,英語の公用語としての使用,積極的な論文発表,などによりメンバーそれぞれの努力が最も効率よく成果に結びつくようにしています.このことは,当ウェブサイトの「業績/Achievements」の8つのページの内容,2018年3月までに40件のを得ていること,これまでに46名の卒業生が巣立ち,その中で9名がアカデミアで活躍していること,などに表れています.また46名の卒業生のうち9名が外国籍であることも特筆に値します.
研究室の成果で重要なものはいくつもあります.それは,重要視される雑誌への論文発表であったり,研究費の獲得であったりもします.しかし私,宮田はそれらよりも,生物学,あるいはサイエンスの歴史に残る発見を後世に残すことこそが重要と思っています.もちろん,難しい雑誌での論文発表や大型予算の獲得が役に立つことは多いのですが,それらは手段であって目的ではありません.もうひとつ重視していることは,後進を育てることです.すばらしい内容の論文でも20年もすればそう読まれることはありませんが,優秀な人材は数十年にわたって多方面でサイエンスや人類や地球のために貢献してくれます.運が良ければネズミ算式に優秀な人材を増やしてくれるかもしれません.

研究室ライフ

学生や博士研究員などとして研究室に入ったら,よく勉強して,よく議論して,よく考えて研究テーマと内容を決めます.次に実験して,皆と議論して,練習して,学会発表します.何回も発表して,結果と議論が十分になったら,英語雑誌に投稿します.投稿した論文は,近い分野の研究者である2-3名に匿名で審査され(ピアレビュー,peer review),その雑誌に掲載する価値があると判断されれば掲載されます.雑誌にはランクがあって,研究内容の評価が雑誌のランクで判断されることがよくあります.すなわち,論文がNatureやScienceで発表されれば“拍手喝采”ということになり,奨学金も就職も得られますし,研究室は多額の研究費を得ることになります.
このように審査員による論文の評価は私たちにとって非常に重い意味を持つのですが,この方法は,約100年前に考え出されたもので,多くの欠点を含んでいます.例えば,3人の審査員がたまたまその研究を気に入れば容易に掲載されてしまいますし,その逆もあります.すなわち運に左右され,研究者はしばしば不条理な目に遭います.そこで私たちはこの不条理に対抗するために,論文合格(受理,accept)のための必殺ダンス(アクセプトダンス,accept dance)を編み出し,論文投稿の直前に全員で踊ります.ダンスはサイエンスの神にささげるものであるため門外不出ですが,今,このメッセージを読んでいるメンバー候補である皆さんにだけは秘密でお見せします.
20世紀には勉強の方法は本や論文を読むことしかありませんでしたが,今はインターネットがありますから,Wikipedia, YouTube, PubMed, iBiologyなど,手段は沢山あります.英語の高額な教科書でさえ,PubMedで無料で閲覧できます.論文検索,実験,発表,議論,などの研究の実戦部分のみではなく研究の体力UPの部分でも新しいメディアを積極的に使いましょう.

研究室メンバーになるには

宮田にメール(miyata@sci.osaka-cu.ac.jp)して下さい.電話やスカイプでお話ししますし,見学に来てもらうこともできます.メンバーになる条件は,私たちの研究内容や計画に興味を持ち,サイエンスをがんばろうと決心できることです.“サイエンスをがんばる”には,生物学の実験だけではなく,実験や解釈に必要な勉強や,会話(デイタイムの言語は英語)や,学会発表や,良好な人間関係などいろんな努力が必要です.
① 大阪市立大学理学部生物学科所属の場合
卒業研究の配属で私たちの研究室を希望すれば,大丈夫です.まれに定員以上の希望者がいる場合がありますが,その時は宮田が提供する生物理学と,中村太郎先生が提供する分子細胞生物学の成績で判断されます.
➁ 国内の他大学に所属されている場合
大学院入試を受けることになりますが,生物系の4年生なら合格は難しくありません.また,生物系でない場合は,大学院推薦入試の制度があります.
③ 国外の大学に所属されている場合
英語あるいは日本語での読み書きと会話が出来て,生物あるいはそれに関連する勉強を大学で修得していれば大丈夫です.8月と2月に入試がありますが,難しくはありません.

経済的条件

共同研究や学会参加など研究に必要な費用は全て研究費から支出されます.大学院での授業料は年535,800円ですが,場合によっては免除になることがあります.
日本人前期博士課程大学院生の場合月88,000円,日本人後期博士課程大学院生の場合月122,000円の第一種奨学金を無利息で借りることができます.この借金は卒業時に研究成果が優れていれば返還免除が得られます.
日本人後期博士課程大学院生の場合は,よい研究結果を出してよい研究計画を書けば,日本学術振興機構の特別研究員に選ばれて月200,000円の給料がもらえます.
それ以外にも各種奨学金があります.授業料免除が受けられることもあります.
外国籍博士課程大学院生の場合は,母国での試験を勝ち抜いて日本大使館から国費留学生に推薦してもらえるのが最も望ましいです.母国にいる場合には,大阪市立大学から国費留学生に推薦してもらえる可能性があります. それ以外にも各種奨学金があります.授業料免除が受けられることもあります.
後期博士課程の場合は,日本人大学院生,外国籍大学院生ともに理学研究科から年500,000円の奨励奨学金が支給されます.

特筆すべきことは私たちがいる杉本町の住環境が世界の大学のトップレベルにあることです.JR杉本町駅と地下鉄御堂筋線あびこ駅から徒歩圏内で,特に杉本町駅からキャンパスへは徒歩30秒です.周囲には多数の商店やレストランが夜遅くまで営業していますので食べることには困りません.基本的に人通りの少なくない住宅地なので,特に危険なエリアも存在しません.地域が少し過疎傾向にあるため,リーズナブルなアパート(25,000円位から)を見つけることは容易です.博士課程や博士研究員として研究室に加わるなら,多くの場合,大学のゲストハウス(1日2000円)が短期で利用できます.

進路

アカデミアとは,研究テーマを自分で選択できる立場(大学教員など)で研究をする仕事のことです.研究室での生業(なりわい)はアカデミアで生きていくための訓練が基本になっていますし,メンバーの全員が著明な研究者になれば,それ以上のことはありません.しかしアカデミアに進むには,それなりの覚悟と,場合によっては犠牲が必要です.また,応用研究や,研究そのもの以外の仕事にやりがいを見いだす場合もあるでしょう.自分でよく考えて決めて,研究室で学んだことをもとにさらに研鑽を積んで,立派な人になって下さい.
私は,アカデミア以外で勝負しようと考えている人にも,博士課程に進学することを勧めています.その理由は,(1) 博士課程で得られる研究能力は多くのことに応用可能で本人の利益になるばかりではなく,社会の仕組み改善にも有効である,(2) "論文博士"という制度は日本固有のもので,近い将来になくなってしまうので,学位を持たずに会社で研究を始めると,学位のないことが将来の障壁になる可能性があるからです.
会社の面接などでは,研究活動をつうじて培った能力を評価してもらってください.日頃から努力を重ねて研究能力が得られていれば,別の分野の人にも人材は評価されます.

Welcome to Myco laboratory

We have the theme of the motility mechanism of Class Mollicutes, related to Mycoplasma which is a pathogenic bacterium known for human pneumonia etc. The laboratory began in 1988 and has been conducting the research of motility since 1997. The gliding motility of Mycoplasma mobile had no other similarities and it was a unique phenomenon that had hardly been studied. We clarified all of the genes and proteins, the structure of gliding machinery and protein, the binding target, the energy source, the mechanical properties, etc. together with the collaborators and proposed the outline and origin of the mechanism. Moreover, based on that experience, we are approaching the gliding mechanism of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and the swimming mechanism of Spiroplasma eriocheiris, which are other two motilities in Class Mollicutes. Also, we are approaching the origin and the change of the motility in all living things on the earth.
These researches are based on the most advanced technologies such as gene manipulation, electron microscopy analysis, crystal structure analysis, protein chemistry, single molecule optical measurement, mathematical calculation, etc. and interdisciplinary and free ideas and discussions. We are just enjoying the "explosive biology".
In our laboratory, efforts of each member are most efficiently linked to achievement by utilization of robot, active communication with inside and outside, use as an official language of English, active publication of papers, etc. This is shown as the following results: A large number of achievements which are listed in the eight pages included in ""Achievement" tab on this website, won 40 awards by March 2018, 46 graduates have graduated so far, and 9 of them play an active part in Accademia. It is also worth noting that 9 of the 46 graduates are foreign nationalities.
There are many important things in achievements of laboratory. It is sometimes publication of papers to the magazines that is regarded as important, or acquisition of research funds. However, I believe that it is more important to release the discovery that remains in the history of biology and science in future generations rather than them. Of course, publishing papers in difficult magazines and acquiring large budgets are often useful, but they are means and not purposes. Another important emphasis is to nurture backwards. Even papers with amazing content will not be read after 20 years, but excellent talent will contribute to science, humanity and the earth in many ways for decades. If we are lucky, excellent human resources may increase in the rat formula.

Laboratory life

After entering the laboratory as a student or a doctoral researcher, etc., you study well, discuss well, think carefully and decide the research theme and the contents. Next, you do experiments, discuss with everyone, practice and present at scientific meetings. After presenting many times, results and discussion become enough, you submit your paper in an English journal. The paper you submitted will be judged anonymously by a few researchers in the neighbor fields (peer review) and will be published if it is judged to be worth publishing in that journal. There are ranks in journals, and the evaluation of research contents is often judged by the rank of journal. In other words, if the paper is published in Nature or Science, it will be a great honor, and you can obtain scholarships and employment, and the laboratory will have a large amount of research funds.
As mentioned above, the evaluation of papers by reviewers has a very heavy meaning to us, but this method was invented about 100 years ago and contains many drawbacks. For example, if three reviewers just happen to like the research, it will be published easily, and vice versa. In other words, it depends on luck and researchers often encounter absurdity. Therefore, in order to counter this absurdity, we devise a secret dance (accept dance) for accept of the paper and dance all together just before the paper submission. This dance is strictly confidential as a dedication to the god of science, but now I will show it to you secretly who is reading this message because you are a member candidate.
In the 20th century, learning methods were only reading books and papers. However, since there is Internet now, there are many ways to learn, like Wikipedia, YouTube, PubMed, iBiology, etc. Even English expensive textbooks can be viewed for free at PubMed. Let's actively use new media not only for the actual warfare part of the research such as paper search, experiment, presentation, discussion, but also for the physical strength of research.

To be a laboratory member

Please send an email to Miyata (miyata@sci.osaka-cu.ac.jp). You can talk on the phone or Skype, or you can come and visit us. The condition to become a member is to be interested in our research contents and plans, and to make a decision to work hard in science. "Work hard in science" requires not only biological experiments but also various efforts. For example, learning for experiments and interpretation, conversation (English only in daytime), academic presentation, and good human relationships.
① If you belong to Department of Biology in Osaka City University
If you wish our laboratory at “laboratory assignment” of graduation research, you can become a member. In rare cases, there may be more applicants than the capacity. At that time it is judged by the results of bioscience provided by Miyata and molecular cell biology provided by Dr. Taro Nakamura.
➁ If you belong to another university in Japan
It is necessary to receive a graduate entrance examination, but it is not difficult to pass if you are a fourth grader in biology department. Also, if you do not belong to the biology department, there is a recommended entrance examination system.
③ If you belong to a foreign university
It is okay if you can read, write and have conversation in English or Japanese and you have studied biology or related subjects at your university. There are entrance examinations in August and February, but it is not difficult.

Economic conditions

All expenses necessary for research, such as joint research and participation to scientific meetings, will be covered as research expenses. Tuition fee at graduate school is 535,800 yen per year, but it is exempted depending on circumstances.
In the case of Japanese master course students, the Interest-free scholarship of 88,000 yen per month is available, and 122,000 yen per month is available for Japanese doctor course students. This debt will be waived if the research results are excellent at graduation.
In the case of Japanese doctor course students, if excellent research results are taken out and you write an excellent research plan, you will be paid a salary of 200,000 yen per month by being elected as a special researcher of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
There are various scholarships besides that and tuition fee exemption may be received.
In the case of foreign doctor course students, it is most desirable that you win the examination in your home country and be nominated as a government-sponsored international student from the Japanese embassy. If you are in your home country, Osaka City University may be able to recommend you as a government-sponsored international student. There are several scholarship systems for international students.
There are various scholarships besides that and tuition fee exemption may be received.
In the case of doctor course, a scholarship of 500,000 yen per year will be awarded from the Graduate School of Science.
What is noteworthy is that the living environment of Sugimoto-cho where the campus is located is at the top level of universities in the world. It is within walking distance from Sugimoto-cho station (JR line) and Abiko station (Subway Midosuji line). In particular, it is a 30-seconds walk from Sugimoto-cho station to the campus.
Many shops and restaurants around the campus are open until late, so you will not have trouble eating. The particularly dangerous area does not exist because it is a residential area where there is some pedestrian traffic basically.
It is easy to find a reasonable apartment (from around 25,000 yen) because the area tends to be a little depopulated. If you join the laboratory as a doctor student or PhD researcher, in many cases, university guesthouse (2000 yen a day) can be used in a short term.

Career

Academia is the work of research at a position where you can choose your research theme yourself (university scholar, etc.). The work in the laboratory is based on training to live in academia, and if all the members become a prominent researchers, there is nothing more wonderful than this. However, in order to proceed to academia, it is necessary to prepare accordingly and to sacrifice in some cases. In addition, there may be cases in which you find challenges for applied research and works other than the research itself. Please consider well by yourself, decide on it based on what you have learned in the laboratory, and become a respectable person.
I also encourage people who are planning to compete outside academia to go to a doctor course. The reasons are as follows: (1) It is possible to apply the research ability obtained in doctor course to many things, not only become profit of the individual but also effective for improving the structure of society. (2) The system called "PhD by thesis only" is unique to Japan, and it will disappear in the near future, so if you start research at a company without having a degree, there is a possibility that the absence of a degree may become a future barrier.
At company interviews and so on, please be evaluated the skills cultivated through research activities. Human resources will be appreciated by people in other fields if they have obtained research capability from a daily effort.