Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team

Main Research Fields :
Related Research Fields :
Environmental Science / Biology
Keywords :
Utilization of solar energy / Environmental diagnosis for marine ecosystems / Power generation at deep-sea / Monitoring and controlling microbial metabolisms
Project :
Innovative Catalysts

Understanding biological electron transfer is critical to develop a sustainable energy strategy

Team Leader

Ryuhei Nakamura D.Sci.

Ryuhei Nakamura

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D.Sci., Osaka University
Postdoctoral Researcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
Assistant Professor, University of Tokyo
Visiting Scientist, RIKEN
Team Leader, Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (-current)


RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team


2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan

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Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team
We work on the development of biologically inspired catalysts and their application to energy conversion and production systems. Specifically, we aim to understand nature’s ingenuity towards multielectron transfer catalysis, electron/proton transport, metabolic regulation, responsiveness to external stimuli, and energy management in deep sea environments to develop the novel materials and systems necessary to effectively manage renewable energy sources.


  1. Electrocatalyst design towards hydrogen production
  2. Electrocatalyst design towards a sustainable nitrogen cycle
  3. Energy conversion at deep sea hydrothermal vents
  4. Development of catalyst theory
  5. Unveiling the origin of enzyme diversity
Electron Flow & Evolution of Life
Our target is to clarify the role of electrical current during the emergence and evolution of life. How has nature utilized the electrical current for billions of years, and what is its relevance towards modern technology, such as water electrolyzers, fuel cells, batteries, voltage amplifiers, and thermoelectrics? We hope that understanding energy-material conversion in nature would promote the realization of a sustainable human ecosystem.