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


  • 2023.6.20
    Ms. Kayla Wang, a 4th-year student from UCSD, will be conducting research until August as part of the FrontierLab@OsakaU Summer Program. Welcome to the Sasaki Lab.
  • 2003.6.9
  • 2023.4.5
    Ms. Yokoshima joined the lab. Welcome to the Sasaki Lab!
  • 2023.3.23
    The degree conferment ceremony took place, and Mr. Otsuka, Ms. Konno, Ms. Shibata, and Mr. Hirono were awarded their master’s degrees. Congratulations!
  • 2023.3.17
    Following the university‘s guidelines allowing gatherings, a farewell party was held for graduate students Mr. Otsuka and Ms. Konno at Roberto’s Canteen. Due to the COVID-19 situation, students couldn’t have farewell and welcome parties for about three years, so it was the first lab gathering for most of the students. We look forward to the success of both of them in their professional careers.
  • 2023.3.14~1
    Graduate student Mr. Hirono participated in and presented at the 10th Cell Competition Colloquium held at Awaji Yumebutai.
  • 2023.2.6~1
    Graduate students Mr. Otsuka, Ms. Konno, Ms. Shibata, and Mr. Hirono presented at the Midterm Evaluation Thesis Public Hearing.
  • 2022.12.26
    The lab had a thorough cleaning. Thank you all for your hard work throughout the year.
  • 2022.12.13~1
    The 2nd Group Meeting for “Multicellular Life Autonomy” was held at Kanazawa City Cultural Hall, and graduate student Ms. Konno received the Best Poster Award. Congratulations!
  • 2022.11.30~12.2
    At the 45th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan, graduate students Mr. Hirono, Ms. Konno, Ms. Shibata, and Associate Professor Hashimoto presented their latest research findings. Assistant Professor Shimojo chaired and presented a workshop.

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