Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Biological Dynamics


Professor TAMURA Koji
Campus Aobayama campus
Laboratory Organ Morphogenesis
Tel +81-22-795-3489
E-mail tam@tohoku.ac.jp
Website http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/tamlab/

The world is replete with mysterious things, especially in the world of living organisms. People consider something as mysterious when they face facts or situations that exceed their own understanding. We don’t really know how living things came about (how they were made). Something you make yourself will be easy to understand because you know where the plan (blueprint) is, but unfortunately, all living things were not made at the hands of humans. This is why comprehending developmental mechanisms will provide a significant clue to unraveling the mysterious labyrinth encompassing life. I always want to explore all things I consider as mysterious using science.

March 1993 Acquired a Doctorate Degree from the Graduate School of Science of Tohoku University
1992 to 1994 Special Researcher, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (DC and PD)
1994 to 1999 Assistant, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
1997 to 1999 Postdoctoral Fellow in Salk Institute
1999 to 2001 Associate Professor, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
2001 to 2007 Associate Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
2007 to Present Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Selected Publications
  1. Kondo M., Sekine T., Miyakoshi T., Kitajima K., Egawa S., Seki R., Abe G., and Tamura K (2018). Flight feather development: its early specialization during embryogenesis. Zoological Letters, 4, 2.
  2. Saito, D., Tamura, K., and Takahashi, Y (2017). Early segregation of the adrenal cortex and gonad in chicken embryos. Development Growth and Differentiation, 59, 593-602.
  3. Matsubara, Y., Hirasawa, T., Egawa, S., Hattori, A., Suganuma, T., Kohara, Y., Nagai, T., Tamara, K., Kuratani, S., Kuroiwa, A., and Suzuki T (2017). Anatomical integration of the sacral-hindlimb unit coordinated by GDF11 underlies variation in hindlimb positioning in tetrapods. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 1392-1399.
  4. Otsuka-Yamaguchi, R., Kawasumi-Kita, A., Kudo, N., Izutsu, Y., Tamura, K., and Yokoyama, H (2017). Developmental Dynamics, 246, 585-597.
  5. Matsubara, H., Saito, D., Abe G., Yokoyama, H., Suzuki, T., and Tamura, K. (2017). Upstream regulation for initiation of restricted Shh expression in the chick limb bud. Developmental Dynamics, 246, 417-430.
  6. Seki, R., Li, C., Fang, Q., Hayashi, S., Egawa, S., Hu, J., Xu, L., Pan, H., Kondo, M., Sato, T., Matsubara, H., Kamiyama, N., Kitajima, K., Saito, D., Liu, Y., Gilbert, M.T.P., Zhou, Q., Xu, X., Shiroishi, T., Irie, N.#, Tamura, K. #, and Zhang, G# (2017). Functional roles of Aves class specific cis-regulatory elements on macroevolution of bird-specific features. Nature Communications, 8, 14229. #Co-corresponding authors.
  7. Abe, G., Lee, S. H., Ing-Jia Li, I. J., Chang C. J., Tamura, K., and Ota, K. G. (2016). Open and closed evolutionary paths for drastic morphological changes, involving serial gene duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection. Scientific Reports, 6, 26838.

For other works and theses, access the lab website:http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/tamlab/publications.html

Activities in Academic Societies

Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
The Zoological Society of Japan
The Molecular Biology Society of Japan


Approach to Biology, Developmental Biology I, Organizational Engineering, Developmental BiologyII, Practical Developmental Biology, Exercises in Biology, Advanced Organ Architecture, Joint Lecture on Cellular Biology

Recent Activities

*Limb/fin development
What is the basic mechanism behind limbs and fins?

*Limb and fin regeneration
There are animals that can regrow their limbs. It’s not that mysterious. Why can’t we all do it?

*Diversification and evolution of limb and fin formation
Why do humans have five fingers and birds only three? Where do limbs come from? How similar are fins and limbs?

Message to Students

I want to be a Pro

My old friend told me that a real Pro (professional) is someone who “experienced all possible failures in his path and never repeated them again”…a fitting phrase. Cash register Pro, construction Pro, childcare Pro…there are lots of professionals in this world. I’ve always wanted to become a “Pro” in my field. Science is the formulation of principles. It tells an interesting story to people based on facts (truths), the logic behind those facts, and evidence to convince people to believe. It’s a very long road to becoming a science Pro (scholar), but even so, science is fun. It is interesting. How fun is it? You may ask… Come and learn! I’ll teach you everything I know. I do my very best so that one more young person, or even many more, can aim to become a science Pro along with me.