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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Support Unit for Electron Microscopy Techniques

Unit Leader: Yoshiyuki Kubota (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Yoshiyuki  Kubota(Ph.D.)

This unit houses a state-of-the-art electron microscope and associated equipment and tools to support research in RIKEN on neural microcircuits in the brain and organelle structure. The staff of our unit has specialized technical knowledge and expertise on electron microscopy and related techniques and, based on the information provided and through discussion, advises RIKEN research teams on experimental protocols and other technical aspects of respective research projects. We conduct maintenance of the shared research equipment in our unit, and provide training and educational seminars for the latest EM technologies.

Main Research Fields

  • Complex Systems

Related Research Fields

  • Biology
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Nerve anatomy / Neuropathology
  • Neurophysiology / General neuroscience


  • ultrastructure
  • Neural micro circuit
  • Neural connection
  • connectome
  • Electron microscope

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. *Kubota Y, Sohn J, Hatada S, Schurr M, Straehle J, Gour A, Neujahr R, Miki T, Mikula S, Kawaguchi Y.:
    "A carbon nanotube tape for serial-section electron microscopy of brain ultrastructure."
    Nature Communications, 9: 437 (2018)
  • 2. *Villa KL, Berry KP, Subramanian J, Cha JW, Oh WC, Kwon H-B, Kubota Y, So PT, Nedivi, E.:
    "Inhibitory synapses are repeatedly assembled and removed at persistent sites in vivo."
    euron, 89:Issue 4, p756-769 (2016)
  • 3. *Kubota Y, Kondo S, Nomura M, Hatada S, Yamaguchi N, Mohamed AA, Karube F, Lübke J, Kawaguchi Y.:
    "Functional effects of distinct innervation styles of pyramidal cells by fast spiking cortical interneurons"
    eLife (2015) eLife.07919
  • 4. *Chen JL, Villa KL, Cha JW, So PTC, Kubota Y Nedivi E.:
    "Clustered Dynamics of Inhibitory Synapses and Dendritic Spines in the Adult Neocortex"
    Neuron, 74, 361-373 (2012)
  • 5. *Kubota Y, Karube F, Nomura M, Gulledge AT, Mochizuki A, Schertel A and Kawaguchi.:
    "Conserved properties of dendritic trees in four cortical interneuron subtypes."
    Scientific Reports, 1, Article number: 89 (2011)
  • 6. *Morishima M, Morita K, Kubota Y, Kawaguchi Y.:
    "Highly Differentiated Projection-Specific Cortical Subnetworks"
    J Neurosci, 31(28):10380-10391 (2011)
  • 7. *Chen JL, Lin WC, Cha JW, So PT, Kubota Y, Nedivi E.:
    "Structural basis for the role of inhibition in facilitating adult brain plasticity"
    Nature Neuroscience, 14, 587-594 (2011)
  • 8. *Kubota Y, Hatada S, Kondo S, Karube F, Kawaguchi Y.:
    "Neocortical Inhibitory Terminals Innervate Dendritic Spines Targeted by Thalamocortical Afferents"
    J. Neurosci 27: 1139-1150 (2007)
  • 9. *Kawaguchi, Y., Karube, F. and Kubota, Y.:
    "Dendritic Branch Typing and Spine Expression Patterns in Cortical Nonpyramidal Cells"
    Cerebral Cortex 16: 696-711 (2006)
  • 10. *Karube, F., Kubota, Y. and Kawaguchi, Y.:
    "Axon branching and synaptic bouton phenotypes in GABAergic nonpyramidal cell subtypes"
    J. Neurosci. 24: 2853-2865 (2004)

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Yoshiyuki Kubota
Unit Leader

Core members

Motohide Murate
Technical Scientist
Tamami Honda
Technical Staff I
Kazuko Tanaka

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan