Professor Shiroh Futaki graduated from Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University in 1983 and obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1989 from Kyoto University under the supervision of Professors Haruaki Yajima and Nobutaka Fujii. Meanwhile he was appointed as a Research Associate at Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokushima in 1987. His postdoctoral training was with Professor James Manning at the Rockefeller University, New York City, 1989-1991. He was promoted to Associate Professor at Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokushima in 1993, and moved to Institute of Chemical Research, Kyoto University as an Associate Professor in 1997, where he was promoted to a Full Professor of Biochemistry in 2005. He was also appointed as a PREST and SORST Investigator of JST from 2003 to 2006, and from 2006 to 2008, respectively. He visited Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris as a professeur invité in 2010. Professor Futaki is now a Trustee of The Japanese Peptide Society and also an Associate Editor of Molecular Therapy and a member in the Editorial Boards of four scientific journals. His honors include The Japanese Peptide Society Award for Young Scientists, 1997, Daiichi Pharmaceutical Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, 1997, and The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Award for Young Scientists, 1998.
Research in the Futaki lab focuses on development of cell-penetrating peptide vectors and elucidation of the internalization mechanisms. Arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides are an attractive means of intracellular delivery of therapeutic molecules. This has also potential in chemical and biological studies on cellular functions. Using designed peptides as an analytical tool, the group is exploring the methods of internalization of arginine-rich peptides and developing novel efficient and effective means for intracellular delivery.