Integrative Life Sciences :
Cellular Network


Professor SUGIMOTO Asako
Campus Katahira campus
Laboratory Developmental Dynamics
Tel +81-22-217-6194
E-mail asugimoto@tohoku.ac.jp
Website https://www.lifesci.tohoku.ac.jp/sugimoto_lab/
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Our lab is interested in cellular dynamics in animal development. During embryogenesis, cells divide, change their shapes, and migrate to establish highly organized structures. We are investigating how these events are regulated using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism.

1987 B.Sc., Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, The University of Tokyo
1992 Ph.D., Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
1992-1996 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1996-2002 Assistant Professor, Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
1997-2000 Researcher, PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation
2001-2011 Team Leader, Center for Developmental Biology, RIKEN
2010-Present Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Selected Publications
  1. Kubota Y., Tsuyama K., Takabayashi Y., Haruta N., Maruyama R., Iida N. and Sugimoto A. (2014). The PAF1 complex is involved in embryonic epidermal morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Dev Biol 391, 43-53.
  2. Toya, M., Terasawa, M., Nagata, K., Iida, Y., and Sugimoto, A. (2011). A kinase-independent role for Aurora A in the assembly of mitotic spindle microtubules in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Nat Cell Biol 13, 710-716.
  3. Hanazawa, M., Yonetani, M., and Sugimoto, A. (2011). PGL proteins self associate and bind RNPs to mediate germ granule assembly in C. elegans. J Cell Biol 192, 929-937.
  4. Motegi, F., Velarde, N.V., Piano, F. & Sugimoto, A. (2006) Two phases of astral microtubule activity during cytokinesis in C. elegans embryos. Dev Cell 10, 509-520.
  5. Motegi, F. & Sugimoto, A. (2006) Sequential functioning of the ECT-2 RhoGEF, RHO-1 and CDC-42 establishes cell polarity in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Nat Cell Biol 8, 978-985.

For other contributions, please refer to: http://scholar.google.co.jp/citations?user=ZiPNVBoAAAAJ&hl=en

Activities in Academic Societies

The Molecular Biology Society of Japan, Japan Society for Cell Biology, Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists


Genetics (undergraduate), Molecular Genetics (undergraduate), etc.

Recent Activities

We are investigating dynamic cellular events during embryogenesis, including cell division, cell polarity establishment, and cell shape change using the nematode C. elegans as a model system. For experimental approaches, we extensively use high-resolution live microscopy, as well as genetics, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and genomics.


sugimoto image1

Top: The first cell division in C. elegans; Microtubules (green), chromosomes (red) and centrosomes (yellow). Middle: A one-cell to four-cell stage embryo; Germ granules (green) and chromosomes (red). Bottom: Epidermal morphogenesis.

Message to Students

Cells are filled with mysteries waiting to be solved.