Research Groups

Department of Basic Medicine / Bioregulation

Anatomy and Neuroscience

Professor :  Shozo Jinno      /  

Research Interests

Recent studies have indicated that the hippocampus may also be involved in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and major depression. In our lab, we use various behavioral & pharmacological mouse models for psychiatric disorders, and are engaged in their analysis based on the morphological, physiological, and biochemical techniques. The goal of our lab is to elucidate the functional significance of the hippocampus and other limbic regions in the psychiatric disorders and higher cognitive functions.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Behavioral and pharmacological analyses of animal models for psychiatric disorders using video tracking system, fear-conditioning equipment, operant conditioning equipment, and prepulse startle system.
  2. Morphological analysis of the diverse neuronal and glial populations in the hippocampus based on the immunohistochemistry, stereology, point process analysis, and multivariate morphometric analysis using originally developed image-analysis software libraries.
  3. Multidisciplinary analysis of the neuronal circuits connecting the hippocampus and other limbic regions using electrophysiology, biochemistry, and chemogenetics (DREADD).
  4. The curriculum is tailor-made for the needs and interests of each student

Developmental Biology

Professor : Chikara Meno    /  

Research Interests

Mouse early embryogenesis is characterized by dynamic structural changes that are associated with various cellular processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation and migration. We are interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate early embryogenesis, and determining how the behavior of each cell is orchestrated within the context of the whole embryo. In particular, we have studied axis formation in mouse embryos since we found left-right asymmetrically expressed gene, Lefty. We have also extended our research to various areas as listed below.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Molecular mechanism of anteroposterior and left-right axes
  2. Regulation of pluripotency and differentiation of the epiblast
  3. Molecular mechanism of maintaining axial stem cells in primitive-streak and tail bud regions
  4. Molecular mechanism of heart morphogenesis, etc

Medical Biochermistry

Professor: Takashi Ito   /  

Research Interests

We aim to make unique contributions to our understanding of life through our position in the field of genome science and omics. Recently, we have been focusing our efforts on the following areas: 1) synthetic genomics, which aims to achieve a constructive understanding and control of evolution by gene duplication, 2) epigenomics, which aims to develop a single-cell, multiplexed detection of epigenetic modifications, and 3) cell biology, which aims to elucidate the dynamics of epigenetic modifications. We use yeast and cultured mammalian cells and emphasize the development of unique technologies as the basis of our research.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Genetics (Yeast genetics, genome editing)
  2. Genomics (Next generation sequencing, long read sequencing)
  3. Biochemistry (Expression and purification of recombinant proteins)
  4. Cell Biology (Fluorescence live cell imaging)

Medical Biophysics and Radiation Biology

Assistant Professor Mizuki Ohno  /  

Research Interests

Our research group aims to elucidate molecular mechanisms of genome integrity in mammals.

Cellular DNA is constantly suffering from numerous internal and external mutagenic factors. All living organisms, from E. coli to humans, have multiple mechanisms to detect and repair DNA damage. DNA repair mechanisms are closely related to human health because they can cause mutations and cell death if they do not work properly. Studying DNA repair system also helps to understand the origin of life and the mechanism of genome evolution. It has been suggested that 8-oxoguanine, an oxidized form of guanine, induces mutations and is closely related to carcinogenesis and various aging-associated diseases. Our previous studies have shown three enzymes, OGG1 and MUTYH, base excision repair proteins with DNA glycosylase activity, and MTH1, an 8-oxo-dGTPase, cooperatively work to prevent mutagenesis caused by 8-oxoguanine effectively. Mice defective in one of these genes showed cancer-prone phenotypes. Furthermore, mice lacking all three genes showed more than 30 times higher germline mutation rate than wild-type mice, thus assumed as rapidly evolving mice. However, this mouse line was difficult to maintain through interbreeding and failed after several generations, indicating that excessively high mutation rates are detrimental to maintaining species traits. Germline mutations cause genetic diseases, infertility, and miscarriages, but in the long-stand view, they create genetic diversity and drive genome evolution. Understanding the mechanisms that maintain an appropriate mutation rate for each species is particularly important.

We are currently working to elucidate the maintenance of genetic information by conducting various experimental analyses using knockout mice and cultured cells for base excision repair, DNA mismatch repair, nucleotide excision repair, and DNA damage response-related genes.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Functional analysis of DNA repair genes.
  2. Studies on the preventive system of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis using genetically engineered mice.
  3. Studies on molecular mechanisms of germline genome integrity.


Lecturer:Sachiko Kamakura      / 

Research Interests

 Using techniques of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and structural biology, we are studying mechanisms underlying control of a variety of proteins at atomic, molecular, cellular, and individual levels. Our target proteins are involved in the following two systems: (1) Nox family NADPH oxidase systems that produce reactive oxygen species and regulate various biological functions such as host defense, hormone synthesis, and signal transduction; and (2) cell polarity systems that control morphogenesis, cell movement, and asymmetric cell division.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Regulatory mechanism for Nox family NADPH oxidases that produce reactive oxygen species
  2. Molecular mechanism for control of cell polarization

Anatomy and Cell Biology

Professor : Takashi Miura      /  

Research Interests

  Our primary interest is understanding the pattern formation of multicellular structures. We study various pattern formation phenomena during development through imaging and mathematical modeling. Our goals for medical applications are (1) understanding and preventing congenital anomalies (2) regeneration of histological structures.

Contents of Teaching/Research Themes

  1. Understanding the pattern formation process during development
  2. Imaging and quantification of developmental processes
  3. Modeling, numerical simulations and mathematical analysis of pattern formation phenomena during development
  4. Reconstruction of histological structures from cells in vitro