MORITA Hiroyuki Professor

MORITA Hiroyuki

AffiliationLaboratory of Natural Products Chemistry, Section of Natural Products & Drug Discovery, Division of Medicinal Resources, Department of Research and Development

Research fieldsNatural Products Chemistry

Campus careerPh.D.

Biography Academic Research Staff


1996 B.S., Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Japan
1998 M.S., School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka,
2001 Ph.D., School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka,

Job career

2001 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta,Canada
2002 Postdoctoral Fellow, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Japan
2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Mitsubishi Kagaku Institute of Life Sciences,Japan
2008 Assistant Professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Japan
2012 Professor, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan

Research theme





Outline of the research

Nature could provide us with compounds with various chemical structures and biological activities to satisfy our pharmaceutical demands. Since then we have been developing drugs by isolating, identifying, and clinically studying naturally sources compounds. Even now the chemical structure of the natural compounds is still important for the drug development. On the other hands, current studies have also revealed that some of the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of natural products exert remarkable substrate promiscuity. Thus, we can now generate unnatural novel compounds by exploiting the remarkable substrate promiscuity of these enzymes. Furthermore, engineering of the enzymes can also increases the production of the unnatural novel compounds.

Hence, my research mainly focuses on 1) discovery of naturally occurring bioactive compounds from plants and marine sponges, and 2) studies of the biosynthesis of natural products including enzyme engineering.

Thoughts on research

Research require precise data verification. In research we shouldn’t be deceived, and we also shouldn’t deceive. In order to prevent it, we should always observe own experiments and think about the obtained results carefully. Through careful observation and thinking, we can notice many important details. In addition, we have to be patient to overcome big setbacks. Strong mental power and patience are required for the research. Innovative results are also important for academic development, but above all, it is the duty of the researcher to provide the research results obtained by the precise data analysis without any compromise to the world.


H. Morita, C.P. Wong, I. Abe, How structural subtleties lead to molecular diversity for the type III polyketide synthases. J Biol Chem, 294, 15121–15136 (2019).

N.N. Win, T. Kodama, K.Z.W. Lae, Y.Y. Win, H. Ngwe, I Abe, H. Morita. Bis-iridoid and iridoid glycosides: Viral protein R inhibitors from Picrorhiza kurroa collected in Myanmar. Fitoterapia, 134, 101–107 (2019).


Natural products, Biosynthesis, Structre analysis, Enzyme engineering, Plants, Sponges