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 E.coli 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 Yasuda of National Institute of Genetics (NIG) played a major role in the identification of the replication origin in E.coli chromosome, 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 24th, 2020

Registration has been closed.

February 8th, 2020

We updated the timetable and speaker information.

February 25th, 2020

The synposium has been officially canceled due to an unforseen situation caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.





John Diffley

Dear participants,

Many thanks for your registration to the NIG symposium, which was planned to start on March 4th. We were looking forward to seeing your exciting presentations in this special event for celebrating the official retirement of Professors Araki and Tsurimoto,and were working hard to welcome you in Atami. However, we regret to inform you that the symposium has been canceled.

The decision is based on the CDC alert for Japan Travel, which was raised to Level 2 on Sunday and on protecting all participants including the NIG students and faculty from the virus. In an emergency meeting in the morning on February 25th, the NIG director Fumio Hanaoka regretfully decided to cancel the symposium.

We are very sorry for all inconveniences caused by the decision, but hope you to understand the difficult circumstances that we are facing.

Best regards,

NIG international committee
John Diffley
Hisao Masai
Seiji Tanaka
Fumio Hanaoka
Hironori Niki
Kazuhiro Maeshima
Masato Kanemaki

Date and program

Talk titles

Poster titles

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)


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.

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