Graduate School of Frontier Biosci., Osaka Univ.

Research outline

We are studying the mechanisms that support correct development. Correctness is a very important feature of the development. Developmental errors cause various abnormalities, like developmental arrest, morphological abnormality, and dysfunction of organs. During development, cells undergo dynamic changes like division, differentiation, death, migration etc., and cells create organs and other complex structures of a body as a whole. However, the behaviors and conditions of each cell in developing embryos are highly variable. How do variable cells create correct body as a whole?

Intercellular communications play important roles to accomplish correct development. Cells understand the conditions of their environment and their neighboring cells, and control their own and/or their neighbors' behaviors to coordinate their behaviors and form correct bodies as a whole. By analyzing the mechanisms and roles of such intercellular communications, we aim to reveal the mechanisms that support correct development. For this purpose, we use early mouse embryos and cultured cells as experimental systems, and we focus on the intercellular communications involving the Hippo signaling pathway and the cell competition, and study their mechanisms and roles in embryonic development.

Key words

  • Mouse
  • Development
  • Intercellular communication
  • Hippo signal
  • Cell competition


  • 2020.1.9
    Sasaki gave a seminar at Hirosaki University.
  • 2020.1.6
    Dr. Hiromi Shimojo has been appointed as an Assistant Professor. Welcome to Sasaki Lab.
  • 2019.12.3~6
    Drs. Hashimoto and Sasaki made platform presentations in the workshops on Hippo signaling and early mouse embryogenesis, respectively, of the annual meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan held in Fukuoka.
  • 2019.11.11~14
    Sasaki gave a talk at TEMTIA-IX (The 9th EMT International Association Meeting) at Kumamoto University.
  • 2019.10.1
    Dr. Hashimoto has been promoted to an Associate Professor.
  • 2019.9.24
    Dr. Hashimoto’s paper was recommended in F1000Prime.
  • 2019.7.22
    Dr. Hashimoto's paper was published in Dev Cell, and was selected for Previews.
  • 2019.6.14
    On line version of Dr. Hashimoto’s paper about the roles of Hippo signal and cell competition for epiblast formation was published in Developmental Cell.
  • 2019.6.14
    We had a party celebrating publication of Dr. Hashimoto’s great paper. Congratulations!
  • 2019.5.28
    Dr. Hirotaka Tao(Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada)visited us, and gave a seminar about the roles of physical forces in regulation of 3D cell movement in mouse embryos.

Recruitment of Ph.D. students

We welcome motivated students who are interested in the mystery of correctness of development. Successful candidates will be persons who are interested in mouse embryogenesis and/or intercellular communications, e.g. Hippo signaling, cell competition.

Interested applicants may contact Dr. Sasaki via e-mail

Laboratory for Embryogenesis
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
Osaka University
1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871 Japan