Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
Department of Developmental Neuroscience



Osumi Noriko


Academic and Professional Career
1979-1985 School of Dentistry, Tokyo Medical & Dental University
1985-1989 Graduate School of Dentistry, Tokyo Medical & Dental University
1989-1996 Research Associate, Department of Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Anomalies, Tokyo Medical & Dental University
1996-1998 Associate Professor, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology & Psychiatry
1998- Present position
2006- Special Advisor for Gender Equality (Tohoku University)
2008-2010 Distinguished Professor (Tohoku University)
2019- Vice President (Tohoku University)

1985 Nagao Award from School of Dentistry, Tokyo Medical & Dental University (for the top student on graduation)
1992 Hatton Travel Award from International Association for Dental Research for the 70th General Session of the IADR
2006 NISTEP Award from MEXT

Committees (only selected):
President, The Molecular Biology Society of Japan
Organizing member, Japanese Society for Cell Biology
Organizing member, Japanese Neuroscience Society
Editorial Board, Genes to Cells and others
Member, Peer Review Committee for Governmental Grants (MEXT)
Member, Advisory Committee for Life Science (MEXT)
Program Officer, Special Grants for Priority Research (JST)
Member, Committee for National Institute of Genetics
Member, Science Council of Japan
Associate Fellow of TWAS

  1. A mutation of the Pax-6 gene in rat "small eye" was associated with migration defect of midbrain crest cells. Nat Genet. 3(4), 299-304, 1993. This is the first paper reporting a mutation in Pax6 gene in rat affect migration of specific population of neural crest cells contributing the face.
  2. Pax-6 is involved in specification of the hindbrain motor neuron subtype. Development. 124(15), 2961-2972, 1997. This paper has revealed the function of Pax6 in subtype specification of hindbrain neurons.
  3. Role of Fabp7, a downstream gene of Pax6, in maintenance of neuroepithelialcells during early embryonic development of the rat cortex. J Neurosci. 25(42), 9752-9761, 2005. This work demonstrates a Pax6-downstream molecule Fabp7 (fatty acid binding protein 7) is essential for maintenance of neural progenitor cells in the developing rat cortex, and has paved a way to our recent research on nutrition in the brain.
  4. The neurogenesis-controlling factor, Pax6, inhibits proliferation and promotes maturation in murine astrocytes. J Neurosci. 28(18), 4604-4612, 2008. In this paper covering an issue of J. Neurosci, we report for the first time that Pax6 is important for maturation of astrocytes.
  5. Cyclin D2 in the basal process of neural progenitors is linked to non-equivalent cell fates. EMBO J. 31(8), 1879-1892, 2012. In this paper, a novel function of Cyclin D2, a key cell cycle regulator, is identified in the mouse cortical development. This paper is chosen as " Have you seen?" essay for EMBO J, and also mentioned in "Editor's Choice" in Science.

Curriculum Vitae(PDF)

Wakamatsu Yoshio

Associate Professor

1993 Research Associate, Osaka University, Center for Molecular and Cellular Biology
1993-1994 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Osaka University, Center for Molecular and Cellular Biology
1994-1995 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Oregon University, Institute of Neuroscience
1995-1997 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow of Research Abroad, Oregon University, Institute of Neuroscience
1997-1999 Research Associate, Oregon University, Institute of Neuroscience,
1999-2016 Lecturer, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Developmental Neuroscience
2016- Associate Professor, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Developmental Neuroscience (current position)


Regulatory mechanisms of neural crest formation and fate determination

Evolutionary mechanisms of heterochronic development of marsupial cranium

Epithelial cell polarity and asymmetry

Development of placode-derived cranial sensory organs

Evolution of the mammalian heterodonty.

  1. Wakamatsu Y, Maynard T M, Jones S U, Weston J A. NUMB localizes in the basal cortex of mitotic avian neuroepithelial cells and modulates neuronal differentiation by binding to NOTCH-1. Neuron 23, 71-81, 1999. This paper showed that, in chick, Numb protein localized basally in dividing neural stem cells. This paper was intriguing because the Numb localization was reportedly apical in mouse neural stem cells, but it was really the case in chick, as Numb anchoring protein also localized basally.
  2. Wakamatsu Y, Maynard TM, Weston J A. Fate determination of neural crest cells by NOTCH-mediated lateral inhibition and asymmetrical cell division during gangliogenesis. Development 127, 2811-2821, 2000. This paper showed that neurogenic neural crest cells underwent asymmetric cell division to generate both stem cells and neuronal cells in the developing sensory ganglia. This was the first report of asymmetric division in a non-epithelial cell type, namely the neural crest.
  3. Sakai D, Suzuki T, Osumi N, Wakamatsu Y. Cooperative action of Sox9, Snail2, and PKA signaling in early neural crest development. Development 133, 1323-1333, 2006. This paper showed that PKA-mediated phosphorylation of Sox9 protein is required for the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of the neural crest. This paper also reported that Snail2, generally believed as a transcriptional repressor, actually activate Snail12 transcription by binding to Sox9.
  4. Wakamatsu Y, Nakamura N, Lee JA, Cole GJ, Osumi N. Transitin, a nestin-like intermediate filament protein, mediates cortical localization and lateral transport of Numb in mitotic avian neuroepithelial cells. Development 134, 2425-2433, 2007. This paper reported that Transitin functioned as a scaffold for Numb to basally localize in mitotic neural stem cells. Time-lapse imaging showed that during the mitosis of the neural stem cells, the basally-localized Transitin-Numb complex would be laterally transported, and this transportation was important for the asymmetric inheritance of Numb in one of the daughter cells.
  5. Wakamatsu, Y., Nomura, T., Osumi, N., Suzuki, K. Comparative gene expression analyses reveal heterochrony for Sox9 expression in the cranial neural crest during marsupial development. Evol Dev. 16(4), 197-206, 2014. This paper describes the early expression of Sox9 in the cranial neural crest precursors of opossum embryo. This works provides a molecular/genetic basis for the early formation of the neural crest and heterochronic development of jaw primordium in marsupial mammals.

I have graduated Hisato Kondoh's lab at Nagoya University. Since then, I have been strongly interested in the neural crest development, and therefore became a PosDoc at James Weston lab. I continued to work on the neural crest developemt, particularly in the regulation of the differentiation and fate determination. In parallel, I have also worked on the asymmetric cell division. After joininig this lab as one of the first members, I have been working on the neural crest formation. Recently I am also interested in the evolutionary aspects of the neural crest, and focusing on the marsupial "heterochronic" development of cranial neural crest cells and jaw elements, as well as mammalian "heterodonty".

Inada Hitoshi

Part-time Lecturer

1996-1999 JSPS Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University
1999-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University
2005-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, NIPS
2006-2008 Research Associate, Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, NIPS
2008-2012 Research Associate, Harvard University
2012-2020 Lecturer, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University
2020-present Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University


Neuron - astrocyte interaction

Structural and functional study of fatty-acid binding proteins (FABPs) and TRP channels

Molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of thermosensation

  1. Inada H, Numayama-Tsuruta K, Mochizuki K, Sasaki-Hoshino M, Osumi N. Pax6-dependent regulation of the rat Fabp7 promoter activity. Genes Cells. 2018 Jul 9. doi: 10.1111/gtc.12623.
  2. Garcia-Elias A, Mrkonjic S, Pardo-Pastor C, Inada H, Hellmich UA, Rubio-Moscardó F, Plata C, Gaudet R, Vicente R, Valverde MA. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate-dependent rearrangement of TRPV4 cytosolic tails enables channel activation by physiological stimuli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 4;110(23):9553-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220231110. Epub 2013 May 20.
  3. Inada H, Procko E, Sotomayor M, Gaudet R. Structural and biochemical consequences of disease-causing mutations in the ankyrin repeat domain of the human TRPV4 channel. Biochemistry. 2012 Aug 7;51(31):6195-206. doi: 10.1021/bi300279b. Epub 2012 Jul 25.
    PMID: 22702953 Free PMC article.
  4. Landouré G, Zdebik AA, Martinez TL, Burnett BG, Stanescu HC, Inada H, Shi Y, Taye AA, Kong L, Munns CH, Choo SS, Phelps CB, Paudel R, Houlden H, Ludlow CL, Caterina MJ, Gaudet R, Kleta R, Fischbeck KH, Sumner CJ. Mutations in TRPV4 cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2C. Nat Genet. 2010 Feb;42(2):170-4. doi: 10.1038/ng.512. Epub 2009 Dec 27.
  5. Inada H, Kawabata F, Ishimaru Y, Fushiki T, Matsunami H, Tominaga M. Off-response property of an acid-activated cation channel complex PKD1L3-PKD2L1. EMBO Rep. 2008 Jul;9(7):690-7. doi: 10.1038/embor.2008.89. Epub 2008 Jun 6.

List of Publications from PubMed


I'm interested in the relationship between structure and function of biological macromolecules, especially temperature sensitve proteins. I have various backgrounds including molecular biology, behavioral genetics, electrophysiology, biochemistry, and X-ray crystallography. In Osumi lab, I'm working on the research projects for analysis of the neuron - astrocyte interaction in mammalian brain using these backgrounds.

Kikkawa Takako

Research Associate

2004-2008 B.S., Saitama University, Saitama, Japan
2008-2010 M.S., Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
2010-2013 Ph.D., Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
2012-2014 Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
2014- Research Associate, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


Regulatory mechanisms of developing cortical formation

  1. Kikkawa, T. Takahashi, M., *Osumi, N. Electroporation in the rodent embryonic brain using whole embryo culture system. Current Protocols in Neuroscience, 2016, in press.
  2. Sakayori, N., Kikkawa, T., Tokuda, H., Kiryu, E., Yoshizaki, K., Kawashima, H., Yamada, T., Arai, H., Kang, JX, Katagiri, H., Shibata, H., Innis, SM., Arita, M., Osumi, N. Maternal dietary imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids impairs neocortical development via epoxy metabolites. Stem Cells, 34(2), 470-482, 2016.
  3. Takahashi, M., Makino, S., Kikkawa, T., Osumi, N. : Preparation of rat serum suitable for mammalian whole embryo culture. J Vis Exp. 90, e51969, 2014.
  4. Kikkawa, T., Obayashi, T., Takahashi, M., Fukuzaki-Dohi, U, Numayama-Tsuruta, K., Osumi, N. : Dmrta1 regulates proneural gene expression downstream of Pax6 in the mammalian telencephalon. Genes Cells. 18(8), 636-649, 2013.
  5. Sakayori, N., Kikkawa, T., Osumi, N. : Reduced proliferation and excess astrogenesis of Pax6 heterozygous neural stem/progenitor cells. Neurosci Res. 74(2), 116-120, 2012.

List of Publications from PubMed

Shohei Ochi

Research Associate

2009-2013 B.S., Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Japan
2013-2015 M.S., Kyoto University, Graduate school of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
2017-2019 JSPS Research Fellow, Kyoto University, Graduate school of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
2019-2020 Assistant Research Staff, Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
2020.4-9 Research Assistant, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
2020.10- Research Associate, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


Mechanism of how sexual difference influence to embryonic cortical development

  1. Ochi S, Manabe S, Kikkawa T, Osumi N.
    Thirty Years' History since the Discovery of Pax6: From Central Nervous System Development to Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 30;23(11):6115.
  2. Ochi S, Imaizumi Y, Shimojo H, Miyachi H, Kageyama R.
    Oscillatory expression of Hes1 regulates cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in the embryonic brain. Development. 2020 Feb 26;147(4).
  3. Kageyama R, Ochi S, Sueda R, Shimojo H.
    The significance of gene expression dynamics in neural stem cell regulation.
    Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci. 2020;96(8):351-363.
  4. Taura A, Ohnishi H, Ochi S, Ebisu F, Nakagawa T, Ito J.
    Effects of mouse utricle stromal tissues on hair cell induction from induced pluripotent stem cells. BMC Neurosci. 2014 Nov 6;15:121.

Kentaro Mochizuki

Assistant Professor

2002-2006 B.S., Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
2006-2008 M.S., Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
2008-2012 Ph.D., Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
2009-2012 Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
2012-2017 Assistant Professor, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
2017-present Assistant Professor, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


Epigenomic regulation during germline development

  1. Aoki N, Mochizuki K, Matsui Y.
    DNA methylation state of 5’-upstream region of Fthl17 regulates its differential expression levels in lung cancer cells and in germ line stem cells.
    PLoS ONE 12(2):e0172219, 2017.
  2. Kudo T, Kanetaka H, Mochizuki K, Tominami K, Nunome S, Abe G, Kosukegawa H, Abe T, Mori H, Mori K, Takagi T, Izumi S.
    Induction of Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells treated with Temperature-Controlled Repeated Thermal Stimulation.
    PLoS ONE 10(4):e0124024, 2015.
  3. Matsui Y, Mochizuki K.
    A current view of the epigenome in mouse primordial germ cells.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 81(2):160-170, 2014.
  4. Kobayashi H, Sakurai T, Miura F, Imai M, Mochiduki K, Yanagisawa E, Sakashita A, Wakai T, Suzuki Y, Ito T, Matsui Y, Kono T.
    High-resolution DNA methylome analysis of primordial germ cells identifies gender-specific reprogramming in mice.
    Genome Research 23(4):616-627, 2013.
  5. Okamura D, Mochizuki K, Taniguchi H, Tokitake Y, Ikeda M, Yamada Y, Tournier C, Yamaguchi S, Tada T, Scholer HR, Matsui Y.
    REST and its downstream molecule Mek5 regulate survival of primordial germ cells.
    Developmental Biology 372(2):190-202, 2012.
  6. Mochizuki K, Tachibana M, Saitou M, Tokitake Y, Matsui Y.
    Implication of DNA demethylation and bivalent histone modification for selective gene regulation in mouse primordial germ cells.
    PLoS ONE 7(9):e46036, 2012.
  7. Mochizuki K, Matsui Y.
    Epigenetic profiles in primordial germ cells: global modulation and fine tuning of the epigenome for acquisition of totipotency.
    Development, Growth & Differentiation 52(6):517-525, 2010.
  8. Higaki S, Mochizuki K, Akashi Y, Yamaha E, Katagiri S, Takahashi Y.
    Cryopreservation of primordial germ cells by rapid cooling of whole zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.
    Journal of Reproduction and Development 56(2):212-218, 2010.
  9. Higaki S, Mochizuki K, Baba H, Akashi Y, Yamaha E, Katagiri S, Takahashi Y.
    Feasibility of cryopreservation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) primordial germ cells by whole embryo freezing.
    The Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research 57(2):119-128, 2009.

List of Publications from PubMed

Student, Assistant

Laarni Grace Corales (D2)

Jasper Germeraad (D2)

Sara Ebrahimi Azar (D1)

Sharmin Naher (D1)

Mao Suzuki (D1)

Shyu Manabe (M2)

Sayaka Makino (technical staff)

Research@Tohoku University
Neuro Global Program Tohoku University
Brain and Individuality
Frontiers of Brain Science