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RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research Laboratory for Physical Biology

Team Leader: Tatsuo Shibata (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Tatsuo  Shibata(Ph.D.)

Advances in measurement technologies have afforded us glimpses into dynamic functional processes, such as morphogenesis and information processing, in cells and tissues involved in development and regeneration. The truly organic dynamism of the biological phenomena exhibited by living cells, individually or in groups, emerges from the coordinated interaction of numerous molecular and genetic factors, and the need for integrated, systems-based approaches to the study of design and operating principles in such “living” phenomena is becoming increasingly clear. This will require not only technologies for the measurement of such elements but the development of applicable mathematical methods as well. In Laboratory for Physical Biology, we will seek to use concepts and methodology from mathematical sciences such as physics in the study and elucidation of these emerging questions in biology.


  • Cell polarity
  • Body axis formation
  • chemotaxis
  • Cell migration
  • Collective cell migration

Selected Publications

  • 1. Hayakawa, Masayuki, Tetsuya Hiraiwa, Yuko Wada, Hidekazu Kuwayama, and Tatsuo Shibata.:
    "Polar Pattern Formation Induced by Contact Following Locomotion in a Multicellular System"
    ed. by Tâm Mignot, eLife, 9 (2020), e53609 10.7554/eLife.53609
  • 2. Hörning, M., & Shibata, T.:
    "Three-Dimensional Cell Geometry Controls Excitable Membrane Signaling in Dictyostelium Cells."
    Biophysical Journal, 116 (2), 372-382. (2019) 10.1016/j.bpj.2018.12.012
  • 3. Sekine, R., Shibata, T., & Ebisuya, M.:
    "Synthetic mammalian pattern formation driven by differential diffusivity of Nodal and Lefty."
    Nature Communications, 9 (1), 5456. (2018) 10.1038/s41467-018-07847-x
  • 4. Namba, T., & Shibata, T.:
    "Propagation of regulatory fluctuations induces coordinated switching of flagellar motors in chemotaxis signaling pathway of single bacteria."
    Journal of Theoretical Biology, 454, 367-375. (2018) 10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.06.023
  • 5. Yosuke Ogura, Fu-Lai Wen, Mustafa M. Sami, Tatsuo Shibata, and Shigeo Hayashi.:
    "A Switch-like Activation Relay of EGFR-ERK Signaling Regulates a Wave of Cellular Contractility for Epithelial Invagination"
    Developmental Cell, 46 (2), 162-172 (2018) 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.06.004
  • 6. Hiraiwa T, Kuranaga E, Shibata T.:
    "Wave Propagation of Junctional Remodeling in Collective Cell Movement of Epithelial Tissue: Numerical Simulation Study."
    Front Cell Dev Biol. ;5:66. 10.3389/fcell.2017.00066
  • 7. Wen F-L, Wang Y-C, Shibata T.:
    "Epithelial Folding Driven by Apical or Basal-Lateral Modulation: Geometric Features, Mechanical Inference, and Boundary Effects."
    Biophys J. 112(12):2683-2695. (2017) 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.012
  • 8. Sato K, Hiraiwa T, Maekawa E, Isomura A, Shibata T, Kuranaga E.:
    "Left-right asymmetric planar cell polarity and junction remodelling induce collective cell migration during epithelial morphogenesis"
    Nature Communication, 6 10074. (2015) 10.1038/ncomms10074
  • 9. Sato K, Hiraiwa T, Shibata T.:
    "Cell chirality induces collective cell migration in epithelial sheet"
    Physical Review Letters, 115, 188102 (2015) 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.188102
  • 10. Nishikawa M, Hörning M, Ueda M, and Shibata T.:
    "Excitable signal transduction induces both spontaneous and directional cell asymmetries in the Phosphatidylinositol Lipid Signaling System for Eukaryotic Chemotaxis"
    Biophysical Journal 106: 723-734 (2014) 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.12.023

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Tatsuo Shibata
Team Leader

Core members

Masayuki Hayakawa
Research Scientist
Yukiko Nakaya
Research Scientist
Mitsusuke Tarama
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Sonja Tarama
Research Scientist

Contact Information

2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan

Email: tatsuo.shibata [at] riken.jp