Nutrition and Natural Medicine on Health: Toward New Therapeutic Drug Development through International Research Collaboration

Project Gist

To find a new therapeutic drugs for human diseases from what animals eat.


Zoopharmacognosy, Natural Medicine, Lifestyle-related disease, Psychiatric disorder

Background, Purpose, and Project Achievements

Wild animals including non-human primates such as Japanese macaques and chimpanzees are known to consume some specific plants as "self-medication" when they are bad conditions due to illness. The aim of our research is to understand biological mechanisms underlying such "self-medication" in animals, and to explore novel substances that may be used for therapeutic treatments of human diseases from foods that animals consume for self-medication. To achieve this aim, we have tried to establish a research collaboration between researchers in Japan and Korea, for which we had workshops.

Future Prospects

Under the research focus on "Cancers, Diabetes, and Stress", we will advance a Japan-Korea research collaboration to explore potential natural substances for therapeutic treatments of diseases, and seek outputs by eventually establishing adacemia-industrial partnership with pharmaceutical companies in Japan and Korea.


The first SPIRITS meeting at Tokyo, Japan
The first SPIRITS meeting at Tokyo, Japan
The second SPIRITS meeting at Busan, Korea
The second SPIRITS meeting at Busan, Korea
The third SPIRITS meeting at Busan, Korea
The third SPIRITS meeting at Busan, Korea

Principal Investigator

GOTO Yukiori

・GOTO Yukiori
・Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science
・I majored Physics in my undergraduate study at Sophia University in Tokyo, followed by the graduate study in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences at Albany Medical College in Albany, NY,USA. After completion of the graduate program with Ph.D., I did postdoctral training at University of Pittsburgh Department of Neuroscience in Pittsburhg, PA, USA, followed by Human Frontiers Science Program Short-term Fellow at University of Paris VI Department of Neurobiology in Paris, France. Then, I took the Assistant Professor position at McGill University Department of Psychiatry in Montreal, QC, Canada, before having Associate Professor position in Kyoto University Primate Research Institute. My current research is directed to understand evolutionary origins and mechanisms of human minds and brains.