Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Neuroscience

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 分野

Hiromu Yawo
キャンパス Katahira キャンパス
専攻分野 Molecular and cellular neuroscience
連絡先 022-217-6208

ResearcherID: I-4871-2015 <>

After gaining my degree by studying cockroach nerves, I have handled a variety of living organisms in my research, including mice, rats, chickens, and Chlamydomonas. I have a deep interest in life with a spirit of “Dr. Challenger.”

1977 Graduated, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University
1981 Completed graduate course (Doctor of Medicine), Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
1995-present Professor of Tohoku University after serving as a Researcher, JSPS; and as an Assistant professor and Lecturer, Kyoto University

Yawo, H. Quantal transmission, Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (Eds. M. D. Binder et al.), Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg (2009), DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-29678-2_2867.

Hiromu Yawo, “Whole-Cell Patch Method” Patch-Clamp Techniques: From Beginning to Advanced Protocols (Springer Protocols Handbooks) (Ed. Yasunobu Okada), Springer Verlag, Japan, ISBN-10: 4431539921, pp 43-69 (2012).

Yawo H, Asano T, Sakai S, Ishizuka T (2013) Optogenetic manipulation of neural and non-neural functions. Dev Growth Differ 55(4):474-490. (DOI: 10.1111/dgd.12053)

Oertner TG, Helmchen F, de Lecea L, Beck H, Konnerth A, Kaupp B, Knpfel T, Yawo H, Musser M. Optogenetic analysis of mammalian neural circuits. "Optogenetics"; Hegemann P, Sigrist S (editors), De Gruyter, Dahlem Workshop Reports, Berlin, pp. 109-126. ISBN: 978-3-11-027071-6 (2013).

所属学会 Physiological Society of Japan, the Japan Neuroscience Society, Society for Neuroscience
担当講義 Medical biology, School of Medicine; Molecular and cellular neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine


We developed the first technology in the world able to control the activity of nerve cells using light by genetically engineering the nerve cells to express channelrhodopsin, an algal photoreceptive molecule from Chlamydomonas (patent application no. 2005-34529: submitted Feb. 10, 2005). We researched the structure of channelrhodopsin and elucidated the structure which are involved in membrane expression, absorption wavelength, and channel characteristics (J Biol Chem 2009; Photochem Photobiol Sci, 2009; PLoS ONE, 2010; Neurosci Res, 2012). We created transgenic rats able to perceive light hitting their skin as a tactile sensation (PLoS ONE, 2009; 2012). We improved a method of electroporation and established a technique for expressing a combination of various gene products in the calyx presynaptic terminals in chicken embryos (PLoS ONE, 2013).


We are elucidating at the molecular level the mechanisms underlying nerve cell network changes caused by the environment and experience during development and adulthood of organisms. In addition, we are striving to understand the neural expression of tactile patterns using transgenic rats able to perceive light hitting their skin as a tactile sensation. By applying the results of such fundamental research, we will be able to produce Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) technology which can communicate information directly with the brain using light. Let us challenge this uncharted and stimulating world!