NAKASHIMA Yu Assistant Professor


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. (Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Biography Academic Research Staff


Mar. 2013, B.Sc at Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Mar. 2015, M.Sc at Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Mar. 2018, Ph.D. at Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Job career

Apr. 2018, Postdoctoral Researcher at Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Dec. 2018, Postdoctral Fellow at Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Jan. 2021 Assistant Professor, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan

Research theme





Outline of the research

Natural product chemistry is a necessary discipline that plays a valuable role in biomedical research and drug discovery. Our work focuses on the chemical and structural biology of biosynthetic enzymes that generate complex natural products. Our laboratory also has a growing interest in how to play natural products as drugs in humans. These researches incorporate techniques of structural biology, such as X-ray crystallography, and practices rooted in chemical, biological, and analytical sciences.

Thoughts on research

Whenever I see the complicated skeleton of natural products, I imagine living organisms' evolution on the earth. Why and how to produce these unique structures? The study of natural products offers an excellent strategy toward identifying these questions. The answer will lead to the development of drug discovery.


Synthesis of 2-Oxoglutarate Derivatives and Their Evaluation as Cosubstrates and Inhibitors of Human Aspartate/Asparagine-β-Hydroxylase
L. Brewitz, Y. Nakashima, C. J. Schofield.
Chemical Science DOI: 10.1039/D0SC04301J 2021
Joint Work

A Human Protein Hydroxylase That Accepts D-residues
H. Choi, A. P. Hardy, T. M. Leissing, R. Chowdhury, Y. Nakashima, W. Ge, M. Markoulides, J. S. Schotti, P. K. Gerken, H. Thorbjornsrud, D. Kang, S. Hong, J. Lee, M. A. McDonough, H. Park, C. J. Schofield.
Communications Chemistry 3 Article number: 52 2020
Joint Work

Novel 2-Oxoglutarate Analogues Modulate the Epigenetic Activity of the Cancer-related Human Aspartate/Asparagine-β-Hydroxylase
L. Brewitz, A. Tumber, Y. Nakashima, C. J. Schofield.
The FASEB Journal 34 1-1 2020
Joint Work

Structure Function and Engineering of Multifunctional Non-heme Iron Dependent Oxygenases in Fungal Meroterpenoid Biosynthesis
Y. Nakashima, T. Mori, H. Nakamura, T. Awakawa, S. Hoshino, M. Senda, T. Senda, I. Abe.
Nature Communications 9 Article number: 104 2018
Joint Work

Structural and Computational Bases for Dramatic Skeletal Rearrangement in Anditomin Biosynthesis
Y. Nakashima, T. Mitsuhashi, Y. Matsuda, M. Senda, H. Sato, M. Yamazaki, M. Uchiyama, T. Senda, I. Abe.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 140 9743-9750 2018
Joint Work


Natural Products, Biosynthesis, Structural Analysis, Enzymatic Engineering