Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering

The University of Tokyo


Dr. Kou OKURO was born in Kanagawa in 1983.  He received B. Sc from Keio University (2006) under the guidance of Prof. Hiromichi Ohta.  He completed his Ph.D for development of “molecular glue” designed for non-covalent chemical modification of biomacromolecules under the direction of Prof. Takuzo Aida at the University of Tokyo (2011).  Then, he began his academic carrier at the University of Tokyo as an assistant professor.  His research interests include biomimetic chemistry and chemical biology for medicinal and clinical application.


BS. Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (2006)

MS. Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (2008)

Ph.D Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (2011)


2008.4–2011.3: JSPS Research Fellow, The University of Tokyo

2011.4–Present: Assistant Professor, The University of Tokyo


Adhesive Photoswitch: Selective Photochemical Modulation of Enzymes under Physiological Conditions

Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro, and Takuzo Aida

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, in press.

Boronic Acid-Appended Molecular Glues for ATP-Responsive Activity Modulation of Enzymes

Kou Okuro, Mizuki Sasaki, and Takuzo Aida

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 5527–5530.

Photoinduced Bioorthogonal 1,3-Dipolar Polycycloaddition Promoted by Oxianionic Substrates for Spatiotemporal Operation of Molecular Glues.
Junichi Hatano, Kou Okuro, and Takuzo Aida
Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 193–198.

Reductively Cleavable Nanocaplets for siRNA Delivery by Template-Assisted Oxidative Polymerization
P. K. Hashim, Kou Okuro, Shigekazu Sasaki, Yasutaka Hoashi, and Takuzo Aida
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15608–15611.

Molecular glues for manipulating enzymes: trypsin inhibition by benzamidine-conjugated molecular glues

Rina Mogaki, Kou Okuro, and Takuzo Aida

Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 2802–2805.

Subnanoscale Hydrophobic Modulation of Salt Bridges in Aqueous Media

Shuo Chen, Yoshimitsu Itoh, Takuya Masuda, Seishi Shimizu, Jun Zhao, Jing Ma, Shugo Nakamura, Kou Okuro, Hidenori Noguchi, Kouhei Uosaki, and Takuzo Aida

Science 2015, 348, 555–559.

Structure and Shape Effects of Molecular Glue on Supramolecular Tubulin Assemblies
Matteo Garzoni, Kou Okuro, Noriyuki Ishii, Takuzo Aida, and Giovanni M. Pavan

ACS Nano 2014, 8, 904–914.

Photoclickable Dendritic Molecular Glue: Noncovalent-to-Covalent Photochemical Transformation of Protein Hybrids
Noriyuki Uchida, Kou Okuro, Yamato Niitani, Xiao Ling, Takayuki Ariga, Michio Tomishige, and Takuzo Aida

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 4684–4687.

Friction-Mediated Dynamic Disordering of Phospholipid Membrane by Mechanical Motions of Photoresponsive Molecular Glue:  Activation of Ion Permeation
Yushi Suzuki, Kou Okuro, Tadashi Takeuchi, and Takuzo Aida
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 15273–15276.

Adhesion Effects of a Guanidinium Ion Appended Dendritic “Molecular Glue” on the ATP-driven Sliding Motion of Actomyosin
Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, Kuniaki Takeda, Yuichi Inoue, Akihiko Ishijima, and Takuzo Aida
Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 3030–3033.

High-water-content mouldable hydrogels by mixing clay and a dendritic molecular binder
Qigang Wang, Justin L Mynar, Masaru Yoshida, Eunji Lee, Myongsoo Lee, Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, and Takuzo Aida
Nature 2010, 463, 339–343.

Image analysis of α/β-tubulin rings in two-dimensional crystalline arrays of periodic mesoporous nanostructures
Noriyuki Ishii, Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, and Takuzo Aida
J. Biochem. 2010, 147, 555–563.

Molecular Glues Carrying Multiple Guanidinium Ion Pendants via an Oligoether Spacer: Stabilization of Microtubules against Depolymerization
Kou Okuro, Kazushi Kinbara, Kouhei Tsumoto, Noriyuki Ishii, and Takuzo Aida
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 1626–1627.

Substrate specificity and reaction mechanism of recombinant styrene oxide isomerase from Pseudomonas putida S12
Kenji Miyamoto, Kou Okuro, and Hiromichi Ohta
Tetrahedron Lett. 2007, 48, 3255–3257.