One of the main fields in molecular biology is DNA replication, which was originated from the proposal of the DNA double-helix structure by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, followed by the isolation of DNA polymerase I by Arthur Kornberg in 1958.
Importantly, Japanese scientists have been playing important roles in this field since the early days. The most famous example is Reiji Okazaki of Nagoya University, who identified so-called Okazaki fragments on lagging strand. Yukinori Hirota and Seiichi Yasui of National Institute of Genetics (NIG) played a major role in the identification of E.coli oriC. The 6th NIG director, Junichi Tomizawa revealed the replication mechanism of the colE1 plasmid.
More recently, Hiroyuki Araki of NIG identified multiple proteins essential for the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication and showed the initiation mechanism that is controlled by S-CDK. Toshiki Tsurimoto of Kyushu University contributed to understanding the mechanism of PCNA loading at the replisome.
The field is now heading to the in vitro reconstitution using purified eukaryotic proteins and to reveal the relationship between DNA replication and other biological processes such as the inheritance of epigenetic histones. A failure of chromosome replication leads to genome instability, which is highly related to cancer formation and genetic disorders. From the biomedical point of view, understanding the replication mechanism in human cells is getting more important.
To discuss the latest developments in the DNA replication field, we plan to organize this international symposium. This symposium is also planned to celebrate the official retirement of Hiroyuki Araki and Toshiki Tsurimoto, who are closing their lab at the end of March 2020. 

Latest information

January 7th, 2019

The NIG international symposium website is open. We will update the details at this website.

Date and program

March 4th and 5th, 2020
(Excursion on March 6th)
Call for poster submission will be announced.
The schedule is subject to change.

Confirmed speakers

Hiroyuki Araki (National Institute of Genetics)
Toshiki Tsurimoto (Kyushu University)
 Bruce Stillman (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA)
John Diffley (The Francis Crick Institute, UK)
Stephen Bell (MIT Department of Biology, USA)
Thomas Kunkel (NIH, USA)
Anne Donaldson (University of Aberdeen, UK)

Organizing committee

John Diffley (The Francis Crick Institute, UK)
 Hisao Masai (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science)
Seiji Tanaka (Kochi University of Technology)
Fumio Hanaoka (National Institute of Genetics)
Hironori Niki (National Institute of Genetics)
Kazuhiro Maeshima (National Institute of Genetics)
Masato Kanemaki (National Institute of Genetics)


Registration information will be available in October, 2019

1. Symposium attendance (arriving on March 3rd)

 In case you are coming far from the venue, Atami, you can arrive one day earlier and stay in the hotel.

2. Symposium attendance (March 4th and 5th only)

 This is an option for those coming in the morning on 4th and leaving in the evening on 5th.

3. Symposium attendance plus excursion (staying until March 6th)

 In case you are joining the excursion and a special event for celebrating the retirement of Prof. Araki, please stay until 6th.


Atami is a beautiful seaside city nearby Hakone and Izu peninsula. It takes for less than one hour from Tokyo/Shinagawa station by the bullet train, Tokaido Shinkansen.

KKR Hotel Atami
Kasugacho 7-39, Atami,
Shizuoka 413-0005, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)557-85-2000
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