Message from the Director of ExCELLS

NEMOTO, Tomomi
Director, ExCELLS

The Exploratory Research Center on Life and Living Systems (ExCELLS) is a newly established research entity, inaugurated in April 2018 in the historically significant city of Okazaki, carrying on the tradition of interdisciplinary research activities from the former Okazaki National Institutes. As the saying goes, “Pile up new wine into new wineskins,” ExCELLS brings together promising researchers from the Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, the Center for Novel Science Initiatives, and the three Okazaki Institutes (IMS, NIBB, NIPS) to embark on the ultimate mission of reconstructing the concept of life, transcending the boundaries of conventional knowledge. Our resolute pursuit revolves around the fundamental and universal intellectual question of “What is life?”. It involves courageous challenges through advanced and diverse scientific techniques and multidimensional intellectual collaborations encompassing both domestic and international spheres. Over the past four years since its inception, we have started exploring new themes guided by the keywords “Observe,” “Read,” and “Create,” such as the location of the boundary between matter and life, the nature of life in extreme environments, the emergence of molecules that underpin biological activities, and the possibility of artificially constructing life. These endeavors have yielded numerous new insights. Moving forward, we aspire to further expand the cutting-edge research of ExCELLS by transforming it into the Advanced Co-creation Platform (ACP), and we aim to contribute to society by returning and promoting the outcomes of our research through the Collaboration Enhancement Platform (CEP). However, it is important to recognize the challenging environment surrounding foundational research in our country. As the new director, I am dedicated to developing ExCELLS, which was established in this esteemed city of Okazaki, with the invaluable support and cooperation of experienced colleagues. We sincerely request your continued support and encouragement in our endeavors.


ExCELLS aims to achieve an integrative understanding of living systems beyond reductionism utilizing large-scale data analyses and synthetic biological approaches. ExCELLS provides a unique platform for cross-disciplinary research in an inter-university, collaborative environment, using the “Observe, Read, and Create” approach.

Department of Creative Research

To develop innovative methods for observing dynamic behaviors of biomolecules in situ and for visualizing changes in quantities of various physical components in complex living systems

To develop theoretical and computational approaches to decode, interpret, and predict biological patterns from varying data

To understand the design principles of dynamically ordering, and robust systems in varying environment by creating experimental and computational living systems

Research Groups

Section for Exploration of Life in Extreme Environments

ExCELLS also explores living systems in extreme environments to elucidate original modes of living and adaptation strategies of organisms.

Research Groups