About CiRA

About CiRA

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Research Divisions

Dept. of Life Science Frontiers

By researching cell behaviors at the molecular level using iPS cell technology, the goal of the Department of Life Science Frontiers is to create new platforms for medical therapies. For instance, researchers at the department are elucidating the pathogenesis of cancer and the mechanisms of the immune system and development. In addition, the department is creating new biotechnologies to explore fundamental questions about cell growth and development.


Head : Shinya Yamanaka

Principal Investigators

Dept. of Cell Growth and Differentiation

The Department of Cell Growth and Differentiation seeks to develop methods for inducing pluripotent cells, such as iPSCs and ESCs, toward specific cell fates, such as mesenchymal tissue (bone, etc.) cells, cardiovascular lineages, neurons, and liver and pancreatic cells. In addition, using model organisms, we conduct preclinical studies of the safety and efficacy of somatic cells differentiated from iPSCs for transplantation into various tissues in the hopes of contributing to the development of effective iPS cell therapies.


Head : Junya Toguchida

Principal Investigators

Dept. of Clinical Application

The Department of Clinical Applications generates iPSCs from somatic cells generously donated to CiRA by patients afflicted with various genetic conditions and use these cells to induce differentiation into various cell types as a platform for the study of disease etiology and mechanisms of pathology. We further use patient-derived iPSCs in the search for and testing of candidate drug compounds and therapies.


Head : Jun Takahashi

Principal Investigators

Dept. of Fundamental Cell Technology

The Department of Fundamental Cell Technology investigates issues regarding the regulation and oversight of research aimed towards future therapies using iPSCs. In addition to overseeing the operations of the Facility for iPS Cell Therapy (FiT), which maintains and provides clinical-grade iPSCs, we also work to develop culture methods for the generation of cells of assured quality. We further provide technical and facility support to other CiRA labs. The division both strives to establish reliable methods for iPS cell generation and maintenance within the institute, and to provide guidance for other researchers working with these cells around the world.


Head : Naoko Takasu

Principal Investigators

Drug Discovery Technology Development Office Head : Tatsutoshi Nakahata

Builds a platform for drug discovery using iPS cell and provides support for iPS cell drug screening


Common Equipment Management Office Head : Naoki Harada

Manages shared equipments at CiRA


Information Security Office Head : Hirohide Saito

Manages information security at CiRA

Uehiro Research Div. for iPS Cell Ethics

This division is devoted to the bioethics involving iPS cell research and application.


Head : Fujita Misao

Principal Investigators

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