Department of Biology & Biochemistry


4 South 0.39


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 385046 


Dr Makoto Furutani-Seiki 


Research interests

In our body, cells generated from stem cells exhibit dynamic cell behaviors in the course of formation and maintenance of organs, such as cell adhesion, migration, polarization, proliferation or death.

Insights into such cell behaviors and lineages underlying human diseases or regeneration are fundamental, since such analyses allow definitive identification of stem or trans-differentiating cells, or validation of the effects of drugs at the cellular level in vivo. However, dynamic cellular basis of diseases remains elusive due to the difficulties of tracking cell behaviors and cell lineages in vivo in conventional mammalian system.

The aim of our research is to understand what defects in such cell behaviors and cell lineages underlie human diseases and regeneration. We have been using Medaka fish and zebrafish to address these questions.

We have been analysing fish models of cancer and regeneration to discover cell behavioral alterations underlying human diseases and regeneration in the following specific projects.

1. Mutations affecting epithelial organ integrity
2. Cancer models: APC, p53 knockout mutants
3. Liver regeneration therapy model
4. Validation of pro-drugs in the context of in vivo cell behaviours using GFP-transgenics.

Academic bibliography

• Professor, Kumamoto University 2007
• Group leader, ERATO, JST, 2000-2007
• Group leader. Freiburg University, 1997-2000
• Post-doc, Max-Planck-Institute für Enwicklungsbiologie, 1992-1997
• Ph.D. (University of Tokyo) 1989


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