Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Developmental Regulation

Germ Cell Development 分野

Germ cells are the only cells with the amazing ability to differentiate into every type of cell and produce an entire individual organism. In the initial stages of embryogenesis, the order to differentiate is given by a portion of pluripotential stem cells, and they appear as primordial germ cells. Further, in the process of the differentiation of sperm and eggs, germ cells aquire ontogenetic totipotency via mechanisms such as unique epigenetic changes. Meanwhile, germ cells are easily reprogrammed to pluripotential stem cells in culture. We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of the differentiation of these germ cells and the mechanisms behind the phenomena in which pluripotential stem cells and germ cells directly convert into each other using the key to achieve these goals: the functional analysis of genes.


We engage in consistent research under the keywords of germ cell development and pluripotential stem cells. We aim for a laboratory in which researchers can feel that the individuality of each person is being valued, the importance of researching, and the great joys which lay behind it.  Our recent research has produced significant results concerning the epigenetic control of the development and differentiation of primordial germ cells. In addition, although we have been engaged in research using mice, we are also engaged in research focusing on more distant creatures from the perspectives of germ cell development universality and diversity.


Professor Yasuhisa Matsui
  • Molecular mechanisms which govern the development of reproductive cells
Assistant Professor Kentaro Mochizuki
  • Epigenetic mechanisms that regulate germ cell development, differentiation and gene expression
Assistant Professor yohei hayashi
  • Direct induction of germ cells from pluripotent stem cells

Thesis Titles

Master Degree

Analysis of DNA methylation and histione modifications in primordial germ cells of Dnd1 mutant male mouse embryos. (2013)

Analysis of germ cell-specific gene expression in Brg1-knockdown ES cells(2013)

A Student’s View


Asuka Takehara 


Undergraduate University and Department

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Life Sciences, Tohoku Pharmaceutical University

Research Subject

Identification of cell cycle changes and their mechanisms in primordial stem cells during AKT

It is a laboratory where you can be yourself.
It is an environment where people who have a firm grasp of their own ideas can harness them to their maximum.
It is an environment where, even if you are a student, you will be seen as a fellow researcher, and you can truly experience the fun and trials of research.
I feel that I have further improved myself here.
It’s a lab where people work when it’s time to work, have fun when it’s time to have fun, and drink when it’s time to drink.