Department of Stem Cell Biology of Medicine

Professor: Katsuhiko Hayashi

Research Interests

 Germ cells are the sole cell lineage that transmits genome and epigenetic information to the next generation. All germ cell lineages originate from primordial germ cells (PGCs), which are segregated from the somatic cell lineage at an early developmental stage. After specification, PGCs start to migrate, while proliferating, along the hindgut endoderm toward the genital ridge that in turn forms either the ovary or testis. In female genital ridge, PGCs cease proliferating, enter meiosis at E13.5, and differentiate into primary oocytes. Our research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms regulating PGC specification and following differentiation into oocyte. To achieve the research interest, we perform genetic and epigenetic analysis of germ cell lineage, mainly in mice. In addition, we are trying to establish a culture system that faithfully reconstitutes the developmental process from PGCs to eggs in vitro using pluripotent stem cells, such as ESCs and iPSCs.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

Our laboratory will serve the environment where students acquire following abilities;

    (1) Basic experimental skills of molecular and cellular biology
    (2) Making logical construction
    (3) Communication and presentation
     Throughout an individual research theme, students will discuss the experimental scheme
     with senior supervisors, perform the experiments, and present data. Specially, students
     are encouraged to take a part in an academic conference to present their research.

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