Mission of SignAC

To understand the design principles of human beings, it is essential to elucidate the nature of each cell in the organism. SignAC is dedicated to the analysis of the epigenomic state, which strongly reflects and determines the state of individual cells.

The “epigenome” refers to the genome-wide ensemble of biochemical “epigenetic” states on and around genomic DNA. The genome is not biochemically uniform. Rather, different genomic regions show distinct epigenetic features. For example, when a protein binds to a DNA element, it often alters the biochemical states around the genomic region through the sequential recruitment of other proteins and biochemical substrates, which may lead to either the activation or repression of genes in the vicinity. Epigenomic states are determined by the composition of proteins and other metabolites, and they conversely determine gene expression patterns and cellular states. Thus, the epigenome strongly underlies the cellular states of individual cells. How are epigenomic states controlled? How do they regulate cellular states? How do they form a basis for systems as complex as human beings? These are essential questions in human biology.

SignAC provides integrative analysis of the epigenomic states of individual cells. Specifically, we target multiple layers of epigenome regulation, including the analysis of genome-wide gene expressions, protein binding to the genome, modifications of DNA and histones, and interactions of distant genomic regions with each other. Importantly, epigenomic states in these different layers functionally affect each other. By extracting the multilayered epigenome information as quantitative data, we hope to capture the functional significance of each layer to elucidate how they reflect and determine cellular states. To achieve this goal, we are introducing cutting-edge technologies from inside and outside of ASHBi and are also developing novel tools ourselves.

At ASHBi, the Hiraoka Group applies advanced mathematical methodologies for the epigenome data analysis. In tight collaboration with the Hiraoka and other ASHBi Groups, SignAC supports and accelerates epigenomic analysis at ASHBI. Other missions of SignAC include management and maintenance of the core facility so that researchers can easily access and utilize high-end machines. Further, SignAC provides training opportunities to enhance epigenomic studies at ASHBi. Through the above activities, SignAC aims to play a pivotal role in research support at ASHBi and Kyoto University.


SignAC holds seminars and workshops occasionally.



We currently provide the following services to ASHBi researchers. In the future, we plan to extend our services to researchers and engineers outside of ASHBi.
-Maintenance and management of the core facility.
-Training for common equipment use.
-Supporting the use of next-generation sequencers.
-Preparation and analysis of RNA-seq libraries.

Service Details


Dr. Takuya Yamamoto (Core Head, Associate Professor)
Dr. Taro Tsujimura (Core Manager, Junior Associate Professor)
Dr. Akira Hirota (Program-Specific Researcher)
Shoko Tarumoto (Research technician)
Moe Shinagawa (Research technician)
Yuka Motohiro (Research technician)
Nao Nishikoba(Research technician)
Yuzuru Kurokawa (Office assistant)
Mayumi Ikeda(Administrative Staff)