Alev Group

Developmental Biology & Organogenesis

Alev Group

Research Overview

The Alev lab at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology (ASHBi), Kyoto University, is interested in and working on the in vitro reconstitution and analysis of human and non-human amniote embryonic development. Our lab focuses foremost on the in vitro recapitulation of mesodermal organogenesis and the reconstitution of complex mesoderm-driven morphogenetic processes. We have recently established an in vitro model of the human segmentation clock and continue to work on the in vitro recapitulation of human and non-human somitogenesis. We are furthermore interested in endodermal and ectodermal organogenesis and complex tissue formation from human and non-human pluripotent stem cells. In collaboration with other scientists at ASHBi our lab aims to establish novel scientific concepts and disruptive technologies in the field of in vitro organogenesis and synthetic embryology, with the overall goal to increase our still limited understanding of human development, evolution and disease.

Figure 1

Fig 1: In vitro reconstitution of the human segmentation clock in health and disease

Movie 1: left: in vitro 3D culture of human iPSC-reporter line; right: ex ovo culture of early chick embryo

Cantas Alev
Prencipal Investigator

Cantas Alev

Associate Professor
Laboratory Website


Matsuda M, Yamanaka Y, Uemura M, Osawa M, Saito K M, Nagahashi A, Nishio M, Guo L, Ikegawa S, Sakurai S, Kihara S, Maurissen L T, Nakamura M, Matsumoto T, Yoshitomi H, Ikeya M, Kawakami N, Yamamoto T, Woltjen K, Ebisuya M, Toguchida J, Alev C. Recapitulating the human segmentation clock with pluripotent stem cells. Nature, 580(7801), 124-129.

McIntyre B, Asahara T, Alev C. Overview of Basic Mechanisms of Notch Signaling in Development and Disease. Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology. 2020;1227:9-27.

Mori T, Takaoka H, Yamane J, Alev C, Fujibuchi W. Novel computational model of gastrula morphogenesis to identify spatial discriminator genes by self-organizing map (SOM) clustering. Scientific Reports. 2019 Aug 29;9(1):12597.

Hamidi S, Nakaya Y, Nagai H, Alev C, Kasukawa T, Chabra S, Lee A, Niwa H, Warmflash A, Shibata T, Sheng G. Mesenchymal-epithelial transition regulates initiation of pluripotency exit before gastrulation. Development. 2020 Feb 3;147(3). pii: dev184960.

Kawai S, Yoshitomi H, Sunaga J, Alev C, Nishio M, Hada M, Koyama Y, Uemura M, Sekiguchi K, Maekawa H, Ikeya M, Tamaki S, Jin Y, Harada Y, Fukiage K, Adachi T, Shuichi M, Toguchida J. Engineering bone-like nodules from human iPS cells as a research platform for bone. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2019 Jul;3(7):558-570.

Alev C, Nakano M, Wu Y, Horiuchi H, Sheng G. Manipulating the avian epiblast and epiblast-derived stem cells. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2013;1074:151-73.

Alev C, Wu Y, Nakaya Y, Sheng G. Decoupling of amniote gastrulation and streak formation reveals a morphogenetic unity in vertebrate mesoderm induction. Development. 2013 Jul, 140(13):2691-6.

Alev C, Wu Y, Kasukawa T, Jakt LM, Ueda HR, Sheng G. Transcriptomic landscape of the primitive streak. Development. 2010 Sep 1, 137(17):2863-74.