The Hiiragi group aims to understand what defines multi-cellular living systems. In particular, the group studies the design principle of tissue self-organisation, using early mammalian embryos as a model system. To this end, they developed an experimental framework that integrates biology, physics and mathematics. Their recent studies led to a model in which feedback between cell fate, polarity, and cell and tissue mechanics underlies multi-cellular self-organisation. The group adopts a wide variety of experimental strategies including embryology, genetics, advanced microscopy, biophysics, engineering and theoretical modelling, in order to address fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology.
- ● Professor at Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan, since 2023
● Senior group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, the Netherlands, since 2021
● Distinguished Visiting Professor at ASHBi, Kyoto University, Japan, since 2019
● Charles Darwin Professor of Animal Embryology (2018-2019), University of Cambridge, UK
● Group leader (2011-2021) at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
● Independent group leader (2007-2011) at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany
● Group leader (2002-2007) at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany
● Postdoc (2000-2002) in the group of Davor Solter at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany
● PhD (1995-2000) in the group of Shoichiro Tsukita at Kyoto University, Japan
● MD (1993) at Kyoto University, Japan
Implantation of an embryo into the uterus is essential for mammalian development. To understand the mechanism underlying morphogenesis and pattern emergence during peri-implantation development, I am developing an ex vivo system that recapitulates in utero development and adopts state-of-the-art microscopy and biophysical measurement. Using mouse and monkey embryos, I aim at the fundamental understanding of human birth.
- Takafumi Ichikawa obtained his PhD from Kyoto University in 2017 and moved to Germany and undertook postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) for four years. He was appointed Assistant Professor in 2021 in the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology (ASHBi) at Kyoto University.
- Main Publications
- Ichikawa, T., Zhang, H. T., Panavaite, L., Erzberger, A., Fabrèges, D., Snajder, R., Wolny, A., Korotkevich, E., Tsuchida-Straeten, N., Hufnagel, L., Kreshuk, A., & Hiiragi, T. (2022). An ex vivo system to study cellular dynamics underlying mouse peri-implantation development. Developmental Cell, 57(3), 373–386.e9.
- She graduated from Nagoya University and has been working as a laboratory technician at the Hiiragi group since October 2022.
Shuchang (Jim) Hu
The beauty of life consists of diversity! Therefore, I’m fond of any living creature and always eager to dig deep into the general principles of life. After graduating from Sichuan University (Chengdu, Sichuan, China) as a Bachelor’s holder, I did an internship in the Rink lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, working on establishing a planarian cell culture method. Now I’m more than exciting to join the Hiiragi group as a Master student and to decipher the principle of embryo morphogenesis during the implantation process. Looking forward to our future scientific journey!