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RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology

Laboratory for Cellular Reprogramming

Research Unit Leader: Haruko Obokata (Ph.D.)
Haruko  Obokata(Ph.D.)

All organisms possess instincts to survive exposures to external stresses by adapting to their environment and, to some degree, regenerating injured tissues or organs. Thus, it is not surprising to observe dramatic cellular plasticity after exposure to significant external stresses, such as an injury. In both vertebrates and plants, cellular reprogramming can be induced by exposure to external stimuli. These facts suggest that organisms which possess a strong regenerative power educe great plasticity when exposed to external stresses and generate "stem cells" from somatic cells. Given these observations, true stemness seems to be linked to cellular plasticity. The main goal of our research is to elucidate the relationship between "stemness" and "cellular plasticity".

Main Research Field

Biology & Biochemistry

Related Research Fields

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Research Subjects

  • Reprogramming mechanisms of mammalian somatic cells
  • Creation of stem cells from somatic cells in vivo and in vitro

Selected Publications

  1. Obokata H, Yamato M, Tsuneda S, Okano T.:
    "Reproducible subcutaneous transplantation of cell sheets into recipient mice"
    Nat Protoc. 2011 Jun 30;6(7):1053-9.
  2. Pirraco RP, Obokata H, Iwata T, Marques AP, Tsuneda S, Yamato M, Reis RL, OkanoT.:
    "Development of osteogenic cell sheets for bone tissue engineering applications"
    Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 Jun;17(11-12):1507-15
  3. Obokata H, Kojima K, Westerman K, Yamato M, Okano T, Tsuneda S, Vacanti CA.:
    "The potential of stem cells in adult tissues representative of the three germ layers"
    Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 Mar;17(5-6):607-15.

Contact information

2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan
Tel:+81-(0)78-306-0111
Fax:+81-(0)78-306-0101Email: obokata [at] cdb.riken.jp

Recent Research Results

February 10, 2014: RIKEN RESEARCH
Stress gives cells a ‘second childhood’

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