Research Subject

Technology Development

Stream group Leader:
RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies, Director

Stream group Leader:
Yasushi Okada
RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, Cell Dynamics Research Core Laboratory for Cell Polarity Regulation, Team Leader

To analyze characteristics of individual cells and those dynamic changes, we develop advanced technologies in transcriptomics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cell visualization and its control. We provide the single-cell platform technologies to various life science researches.


Stem Cells in Development

Stream group Leader: Kuniya Abe
RIKEN BioResource Center, Technology and Development Team for Mammalian Genome Dynamics, Team Leader

There are two types of pluripotent stem cells, i.e. naïve and primed, in mammals. Naïve-to-primed conversion process and genome reprogramming event occurring during the conversion represent important problems to be solved in developmental/stem cell biology. In this stream, we aim to understand full picture of these processes by multi-omics single-cell approach.

Stem Cells in Tissue

Stream group Leader: Hironobu Fujiwara
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment, Team Leader

Precisely balanced control of tissue stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is vital for the tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Conventional experimental approaches targeting pooled, but not single, stem cells or their descendants provide population average data, impeding our understanding of stem cell heterogeneity, hierarchy, differentiation processes and their delicate balancing acts in vivo. Research groups in “Stem Cells in Tissues” aim to understand spatiotemporal dynamics of tissue stem cell behaviours and status in their native tissue environment at single cell resolution and provide a scientific foundation for the clinical application of tissue stem cells.


Stream group Leader: Hiroyuki Kamiguchi
RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Laboratory for Neuronal Growth Mechanisms, Team Leader

Each neuron develops complex cellular extensions through spatially localized signaling and mechanical events. Furthermore, the nervous system consists of heterogeneous classes of neurons that form synaptic connections to transmit and process information. To understand developmental and operational mechanisms of neuronal circuits, we are investigating subcellular signaling dynamics as well as class-specific neuronal functions through single-cell approaches.

Immune cells

Stream group Leader: Osamu Ohara
RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Laboratory for Integrative Genomics, Group Director

The immune system consists of a huge number of immune cells. Current concerns are how the immune system realizes high robustness, dynamics and flexibility through taking advantage of high complexity of immune cells. Thus, our studies usually span multiple physical layers from single-cell resolution to tissue/organ resolution. Most importantly, temporal dynamics of immune cells would be highly critical on the basis of their immunological diversity which originates from immune repertoire in case of acquired immunity. In RIKEN Single-Cell Project, this stream will tackle against the complexity of the immune system fully taking advantage of advanced single-cell technologies in RIKEN.

Drug/Signal Response

Stream group Leader: Erik Arner
RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies Life Science Accelerator Technology Group Genome Information Analysis Team, Senior Scientist

Cells react and respond to outside stimuli such as drug treatment by initiating and propagating cascades of cellular processes including transcriptional initiation. While changes may appear uniform at the cell population level, the response may vary significantly from cell to cell, where some cells may respond more efficiently than others. In the Signal/Drug Response stream, the goal is to uncover transcriptional signatures that are a prerequisite for, and/or a consequence of, a heterogenous signal response.