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Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher (EM2001)


Laboratory for Epithelial Morphogenesis
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research
(Team Leader: Yu-Chiun Wang)

Research Field

We investigate molecular and mechanical mechanisms underlying epithelial cell and tissue deformation using the early Drosophila embryo as the model system. We aim at a multiscale understanding of: 1) How cells interpret positional formation produced by the upstream gene regulatory network to execute mechanical programs of deformation; 2) how mechanical forces that alter cell shape are generated, transmitted across the cellular and tissue scale, and modulated by cell polarity, adhesion and cytoskeletal networks; 3) how morphological precision is achieved and has been evolved. The ongoing projects include:

  • 1.Apical shape control via polarity-coupled microtubule pushing forces and counterbalancing cortical constraints.
  • 2.Global compressive stress as a universal driving force for epithelial folding.
  • 3.Tissue-scale mechanical coupling ensures morphogenetic precision.
  • 4.Control of epithelial fold depth at the interface between adherens junctions and underlying actin.
  • 5.Nucleus as the mechanical nexus and modulator of epithelial force transmission.
  • 6.Mechanical and transcriptome analysis of epithelial flattening.

We employ, and engage in active development of, methods involving multiscale quantitative live imaging, optogenetics, and cell-type specific transcriptomics.

Key references: 1) Nature 484, 390; 2) Developmental Cell 25, 299; 3) Nature Cell Biology 20, 36; 4) Developmental Cell 53, 212. For more detail on our research, please visit Laboratory for Epithelial Morphogenesis website.

Job title and Job description

Positions available

Postdoctoral Researcher

Number of positions

Several positions

Job description

We work closely with the incoming Postdoctoral Researchers to develop an independent project, taking into account personal scientific interests, strengths and relevance to the general research theme of our lab. We encourage the applicant to propose unique, outside-the-box ideas, and identify areas of research and expertise s/he wishes to explore and learn in the lab.

Our lab is English-speaking, thus ideal for Japanese seeking to be trained under the international standards, or foreign nationals who wish to pursue a unique research experience that is both intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching. We value scientific audacity and creativity, and place strong emphasis on rigorous training to nurture future independent careers.


We seek to identify individuals who share a passion for scientific discovery to join this interactive, interdisciplinary and international team. Candidates must possess a Ph.D. degree at the time of start with relevant expertise, such as the traditional disciplines of genetics, cell and developmental biology, or cross-disciplinary fields of biophysics, quantitative and computational biology. Strong prior publications, self-motivation, creativity and independence are key traits that we are looking for.

Work location

RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Kobe Campus-East-West)
2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047 (Developmental Biology Buildings)

Salary and benefits

  • 1.One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to 5 years since the initial date of hire.
  • 2.However, the contract renewable period may be changed on the basis of the employee’s abilities, work load, performance, work attitude, continuation of the center, laboratory or project in which the employee is involved, and on the basis of RIKEN’s finance situation and budget condition at the time. In principle, no contract renewal will be made for people 66 years old or older.
  • 3.The employee’s period of fixed-term employment cannot exceed 10 years from the initial date of hire (or 10 years from April 1, 2013 for fixed-term employees already at RIKEN prior to this date).

In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. Mandatory membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai).
These positions fall under the specialized duties discretionary work system; one working day will be calculated as 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Days off include public holidays, New Year's holidays (Dec. 29 - Jan 3), and RIKEN Foundation Day.
RIKEN has introduced telework as a temporary and special measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may be asked to work from home according to the instructions of the institute. You can also choose to work from home with the permission of your supervisor.
No smoking on site (designated smoking areas available).

These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.
RIKEN is promoting a Gender Equality Program by taking various measures to create a workplace where both men and women are able to give full rein to their talents and abilities. When applicants are judged to be equally qualified on the basis of fair and impartial criteria, women applicants will be given preference.

Also, eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before the fiscal year 2003, and eligible for applying for the MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).

Application and required documents

Required documents

  • 1.Cover letter
  • 2.Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
  • 3.Summary of past research and the result (about 2 pages)
  • 4.Plans for future research (about 1 page)
  • 5.Contact information for three referees.
  • 6.Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR
    If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you are required to submit the document, "Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR" with your signature.

    *You will find detailed information about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the following website:
    Data protection | European Commission

*Please understand that we will not return application documents.


We will examine application documents as they are accepted. Application will be closed as soon as the position is filled.

Handling Personal Data

Submitted documents are strictly protected under the RIKEN Privacy Policy and will be used only for the purpose of applicant screening. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances without just cause.

Selection process

Selection will be made based on application screening and interview. After documents screening, only successful applicants will be invited for interview.

*We (the HR section) do not answer questions regarding the contents of the selection process.

Start of Employment

As soon as possible (Negotiable)

Contact information and Send application to

Send application materials (PDF format) to Email: kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp
The Email title should be: "[EM2001] Application for Postdoctoral Researcher in Laboratory for Epithelial Morphogenesis".

*If you have any research-related questions, please contact yu-chiun.wang[at]riken.jp (Laboratory for Epithelial Morphogenesis, Dr. Yu-Chiun Wang)