Research Institute

People in the Institute and Their Research Activities
List of Faculty
Section of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Animal Ecology

  • Moritaka NISHIHIRA, Professor, D.Sc. moritaka@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Community ecology. Mainly community structure and biodiversity of tropical shallow water ecosystems, especially coral reefs and mangrove swamps. Multi-species coexistence and symbiosis in marine organisms.
  • Satoshi CHIBA , Associate Professor, D.Sc. schiba@biology.tohoku.ac.jp
    Studies on the origin vs. the maintenance of biodiversity, the origin of new species and their ecological interactions, population genetics of Mollusca and Arthropod species using mtDNA and other genetic markers.
  • Takao SUZUKI, Research Associate, D.Sc. takaos@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Animal ecology. In particular, community structure and biodiversity of benthic invertebrate animals living in tidal flats, mangrove swamps and sea grass beds.
  • Hiroshi OTA, Research Associate, D.Sc. ota@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Ecology. Herpetology: Population ecology and Life history strategy of Caudata. Nitrogen-fixation: Interaction among soil bacteria in spermosphere.

Plant Ecology

  • Tadaki HIROSE, Professor, D.Sc. hirose@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Kouki HIKOSAKA, Associate Professor, D.Sc. hikosaka@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Yuko HARADA, Research Associate, D.Sc. harada@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Physiological ecology. Analyses of plant growth, biomass allocation and photosynthesis to find traits for ecological success in changing environments. On-going research works: competition and coexistence in plant communities; resource use in growth and reproduction; species difference in photosynthetic properties; plant response to global change.
  • Satoki SAKAI, Associate Professor, D.Sc. sakai@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Evolutionary ecology. Theoretical and experimental analyses on the evolution of reproductive strategies in plants.

Evolutionary Biology

  • Masakado KAWATA, Professor, D.Agr. kawata@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Experimental and theoretical studies on the relationships between complex individual interactions and global patterns such as population and community properties.
  • Masayuki MAKI, Associate Professor, D.Sc. maki@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant evolutionary biology. Population genetical and molecular phylogenetical analysis of plant species plant species diversity.
  • Jun YOKOYAMA, Research Associate, M.Sc. jyokoyam@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant systematics. Coevolution between plants and insects, especially figs (Ficus) and fig-wasps (Agaonidae); Molecular systematics of vascular plants.

Section of Molecular Cell Biology

Molecular Physiology

  • Kensaku MIZUNO, Professor, D.Sc. kmizuno@biology.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Kazumasa OHASHI , Associate Professor, D.Sc. kohashi@biology.tohoku.ac.jp
    Molecular cell biology. Signal transduction mechanisms which induce actin cytoskeletal reorganization. Roles of protein kinases in cell growth, differentiation and motility. Molecular mechanisms of neurite outgrowth and retraction. Physiological functions of growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases. Roles of protein kinases in spermatogenesis. Molecular mechanisms of tumor invasion and metastasis.
  • Takashi TAKAGI, Professor, D.Sc. ttakagi@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Comparative biochemistry. Molecular evolution of oxygen carrier proteins. Regulation of muscle contraction and cell movement. Biological defense and recognition.

Plant Physiology

  • Kazuhiko NISHITANI, Professor, D.Sc. nishitan@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant Physiology. Our research is aimed at elucidating molecular mechanism controlling plant growth and morphogenesis as regulated by plant hormones. Using Arabidopsis, azuki bean and suspension cultured cells of tobacco as the plant materials, we have isolated novel genes and proteins that are involved in the wall construction, the process that plays crucial roles in regulation of morphogenesis in plants. Currently we focus our attention on the regulatory system responsible for these gene expressions.
  • Kimiharu ISHIZAWA, Associate Professor, D.Sc. kimiharu@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant physiology. Regulatory mechanisms of plant growth and development by plant hormones, especially ethylene. Adaptation of aquatic plants to anaerobic conditions.
  • Ryuusuke YOKOYAMA, Research Associate, D.Sc. ryyoko@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant physiology. Molecular genetic approach to study synthesis, structure and function of the plant cell wall.

Developmental Biology

  • Hiroyuki IDE, Professor, D.Sc. ide@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Koji TAMURA, Associate Professor, D.Sc. tam@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Developmental biology. Analyses with chick and Xenopus limb bud to comprehend the mechanisms of limb development and regeneration with particular reference to roles of several molecules; growth factors and cell adhesion molecules in cartilage pattern formation, function of retinoic acid and molecular mechanisms of cell growth and mesoderm-ectoderm interaction.
  • Hiroaki YAMAMOTO, Associate Professor, D.Sc. hyamamot@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Developmental genetics. Phylogenetic analysis of development, particularly that of melanin-producing pigment cells, to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of these cells in vertebrates.

Molecular Genetics

  • Kazuo YAMAMOTO, Professor, M.D. yamamot@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Tatsuo NUNOSHIBA, Associate Professor, M.D. tnuno@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Molecular Genetics. Our laboratory is interested in mechanisms used by organisms to repair damage to their DNA. Of particular interest is the damages induced by UV radiation as well as active oxygen species. We have cloned specific genes coded for repairing these damages from E. coli, S. pombe and A. thaliana. The roles of these gene products for repair and mutagenesis are under investigation.

Cell Biology

  • Tsuyoshi WATANABE, Professor, D.Sc. twata@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Cell biology. Cell recognition and cell contact during conjugation in Paramecium, and nuclear dualism in ciliates.
  • Gen-ichi TAJIMA, Research Associate, D.Sc. tajima@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Animal physiology. Protein biochemistry. Current works: Molecular mechanisms of hydrogen peroxide elimination in reaction with myoglobin; Molecular architecture of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase.

Physiological Chemistry

  • Chusuke SATO, Research Associate, M.Sc. chu-san@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Physiological chemistry. Spectroscopic analysis of biological membrane structure during excitation by using dyes.


  • Ichiro SHIMADA, Professor, D.Sc. ishimada@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Neuroethology. In particular, molecular physiology of taste and mechanism of feeding behavior in insects.
  • Masayuki KOGANEZAWA (Research Assistant) M.Sc. kogane@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Neurobiology. Physiological analysis of transduction mechanism in insect taste receptor cell. Molecular cloning of taste related genes.

Section of Molecular Bioregulation

Molecular Bioregulation

  • Yasuo MAEDA, Professor, D.Sc. ymaeda@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
  • Aiko AMAGAI, Research Associate, D.Sc. aiamagai@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Cell and developmental biology. Analyses of growth/differentiation transition, cell-cycle dependent cell differentiation/pattern formation and zygote formation in sexual development, using Dictyostelium cells. On-going research works: Molecular and structural mechanisms of cell-type differentiation and pattern formation in a cell-cycle dependent manner; Molecular basis of starvation response; Regulatory mechanisms of zygote formation with special emphasis on ethylene action.

Biomembrane Regulation

  • Jun NAKAMURA, Associate Professor, D.Sc. jun-n@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Are the conformational variants of the chemically equivalent Ca2+-ATPase molecules a model for other protein?: Calcium transport by the ATPase molecules and variation of the molecules.

Marine Biology Station(Asamushi)

Marine Biology

  • Hideki KATOW, Professor, D.Sc. hkatow@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Developmental biology. Molecular mechanism of morphogenesis in echinoderm embryogenesis. Gene expression of an extracellular cell adhesion protein and its receptor. Biochemical properties of these proteins.
  • Kazuo INABA, Associate Professor, D. Sc. inaba@biology.tohoku.ac.jp
    Molecular Cell Biology. Molecular mechanism of sperm motility; Regulation of sperm motility; Comparative biochemistry and physiology of eukaryotic cilia and flagella.
  • Keiichiro KYOZUKA, Associate Professor, D.Sc. kkyozuka@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Developmental biology. In particular, molecular and ionic mechanisms of oocyte maturation and fertilization in marine invertebrates.
  • Satoshi TAKEDA, Research Associate, D.Sc. stakeda@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Marine biology. Behavioral ecology of littoral and sublittoral invertebrates, especially behavioral adaptations of semiterrestrial crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda) to the environments.
  • Ritsu KURAISHI, Research Associate, D.Sc. kuraishi@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Developmental biology. Mechanisms responsible for establishment and maintenance of larval body plan in marine invertebrates.

Botanical Garden

Environmental Biology

  • Mitsuo SUZUKI, Professor, D. Agr. mitsuos@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant anatomy and phylogeny. Living plants: comparative wood anatomy, wood formation, comparative anatomy of vascular tissues. Fossil plants: origin and early diversification of dicotyledons in Cretaceous, Tertiary fossil wood floras, differentiation of boreal conifers since the glacial ages.
  • Toshihiko NAITOH, Research Associate, D.Sc. naito@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Plant Ecology and Environmental Biology. Research of Vegetation, Plant growth, dispersion of seed, behavior of mammal and conservation and protection terrestrial ecosystem.

Mt Hakkoda Botanical Laboratory

Environmental Biology

  • Koji YONEKURA, Research Associate, D.Sc. yonekura@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Vascular plant taxonomy, nomenclature and geobotany. Systematic studies of the genus Bistorta (Polygonaceae). Floristic and Phytogeographical studies of the plants growing on the Hakkoda Mountains, Northernmost Honshu, Japan.

Center for Northeast Asian Studies

Regional Ecosystem Studies

  • Eisuke KIKUCHI, Professor, D.Sc. ekikuchi@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Estuarine ecology. The structure and function of benthic communities; Nutrient and organic cyclings in the Nanakita-river estuary; Restoration and preservation of tidal flat ecosystem.
  • Shuichi SHIKANO, Associate Professor, D.Sc. shikano@mail.cc.tohoku.ac.jp
    Microbial ecology. Species and genetic diversity in bacterial communities, through analysis of small subunit rRNA gene sequences in relation to their environments.
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