Research Support Activities

Challenging Research Award


To encourage young faculty members at Tokyo Tech to engage in challenging research, Tokyo Tech has established the Challenging Research Award for creative, up-and-coming researchers who boldly pursue the promotion of the most advanced research in the world, pioneering of new fields of study, innovative development of new research, and important issues that are difficult to solve. We commend the recipients of this award and provide them with financial support for their research. Many of the researchers who won this award have also gone on to win the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In 2023, 10 researchers were selected and 3 of them won the Suematsu Challenging Research Award.

Throughout the selection, the Office of Research and Innovation make sure the present research trends by the early career researchers and keep setting many opportunities to support them.

FY2023 Requirements for Recommendation 【Internal】

*Only in Japanese.
*This award is only available to recommended individuals.
*Screening for FY2023 has been completed.

FY2023 Award Winners

The 22nd Tokyo Tech Challenging Research Awards went to ten researchers each of whom will receive a research grant. Three of the awardees were also selected for the Suematsu Challenging Research Awards for outstanding research.

Name Affiliation Title Research topic
★the Suematsu Challenging Research Award
Kazuyuki SEKIZAWA Department of Physics,
School of Science
Associate Professor Developing a Microscopic Theory for Quantum Many-Body Tunneling
Jiang PU Department of Physics,
School of Science
Associate Professor Transport and Optical Properties in 1D Moire Superlattice
Kazumi OZAKI Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences,
School of Science
Associate Professor Identification of the tipping point for global ocean deoxygenation considering the P-S-Fe cycles
Yasuhide MOCHIDUKI Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
School of Materials and Chemical Technology
Assistant Professor Elucidation of universal mechanism of phonon-induced negative thermal expansion
Yuki NAGASHIMA Department of Chemical Science and Engineering,
School of Materials and Chemical Technology
Assistant Professor ★Development of Organic Photoreactions Based on Theoretical and Experimental Studies
Youyou CONG Department of Mathmatical and Computing Science,
School of Computing
Assistant Professor Developing a Typed Programming Language for Ensuring Fuzzy Specification
Takashi KANAMORI Department of Life Science and Technology,
School of Life Science and Technology
Assistant Professor Development of genome photo-oxidation method and understanding of epigenetics with oxidatively damaged bases
Satoshi OKADA Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science,
Institute of Innovative Research
Associate Professor ★Development of Magnetic Probes for Molecular Whole-Brain Neuroimaging
Seiichiro IZAWA Laboratory for Materials and Structures,
Institute of Innovative Research
Associate Professor ★Blue Organic Light-Emitting Diode with Extremely Low Driving
Hiroki TAKASU Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy,
Institute of Innovative Research
Associate Professor Development of next-generation solid oxide reversible cell using metal support

Comments from the Suematsu Challenging Research Award winners

永島先生 写真

<Assistant Prof. NAGASHIMA>
I am very honored to receive the prestigious Tokyo Tech Challenging Research Award and the Suematsu Challenging Research Award. I greatly appreciate the support of Professor Ken Tanaka, the many other professors and all of the project laboratory members.
Organic photoreactions use light energy to create photoexcited species, enabling molecular transformations that are difficult to achieve by conventional thermal reactions.
In recent years, with the widespread use of LED lamps, we can conduct photoreactions by using simple equipment, and they have attracted attention as a new molecular conversion process. However, their rational designs are still difficult and relies on trial and error based on the experience of chemists, which has been a bottleneck in the development of diverse reactions. This study aims to overcome this difficulty and establish a new method for generating, controlling, and utilizing photoexcited species bearing diverse elements through integrated theoretical and experimental chemistry. This will expand the chemical space of diverse organic compounds that have been difficult to access in the past.

岡田先生 写真

<Associate Prof. OKADA>
I am very honored to receive the prestigious Tokyo Tech Challenging Research Award and the Suematsu Challenging Research Award. I sincerely appreciate the tremendous support from Professor Hiroyuki Nakamura, assistant professors, staffs and students in our laboratory, and collaborators. The brain function, which shapes our minds and behaviors, is highly integrated by neural circuits consisting of 100 billion neurons. While the brain controls signal transductions by utilizing various neurotransmitters released from neurons, it is known that the identical neurotransmitter can exhibit entirely different functions depending on the neural circuits. To understand the brain function, it is therefore necessary not only to observe the activities of individual neurons but also to observe the dynamics of neurotransmitters throughout the entire brain, where neural circuits are formed. This research aims to develop a neuroimaging technique that visualizes the dynamics of neurotransmitters at the whole-brain level by utilizing MRI contrast agents as molecular probes, that are designed to change MRI contrast in response to specific neurotransmitters.

伊澤先生 写真

<Associate Prof. IZAWA>
I am very honored to receive the Tokyo Tech Challenging Research Award and the Suematsu Challenging Research Award. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the people who have been involved in the research.
My research topic is organic optoelectronics devices such as organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and organic solar cell (OSC) using organic semiconductor materials. OLED is already used in our daily lives, such as TVs and smartphone displays. However, OLED has a problem that a large voltage is required to emit blue light. In this research, we aim to drastically reduce the voltage required to emit blue light from an OLED by using a upconversion process that I discovered recently. As a result, I would like to develop energy-saving OLED. This research was inspired by the photoelectric conversion mechanism of OSC, which I had originally studied. I would like to continue to exchange ideas with people in various fields and further develop my research.

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony was held on August 31.

Commemorative photo with the award winners (1-Sep) Commemorative photo with the award winners
Commemorative photo with the award winner (12-Sep) Honorary Professor Suematsu giving a congratulatory address
President Masu giving a congratulatory address Award-winning Assistant Prof. Yuki Nagashima
Presentation on Zoom Award-winner receiving certificate
Question session after presentation Executive Vice President for Research Watanabe