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Chief Scientist Laboratories Physiological Genetics Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Sa Kan Yoo (M.D., Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Sa Kan  Yoo(M.D., Ph.D.)

Living organisms can cope with disruption of homeostasis such as injury and disease to a certain degree. This results in restoration of steady state homeostasis, death of affected tissues or ultimate organismal death. The outcome depends on the type of insults, species of animals and maturation of tissues. While the process is well recognized, we still do not know the mechanisms defining responses to disruption of homeostasis in different organs and species. Our research focuses on three fundamental questions targeting major disruption of homeostasis in organisms: 1) How do animals repair tissues upon injury? 2) How does oncogenic stress by cancer affect animals? 3) What is the mechanism of aging? To do this, we utilize unrivaled genetics of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Main Research Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Cancer
  • Wound repair
  • Inter-organ communicatio


  • Cancer
  • Wound repair
  • Inter-organ communication
  • fruit flies
  • zebrafish

Selected Publications

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

  • 1.Yoo SK, Pascoe H, Pereira T, Kondo S, Jacinto A, Zhang X and Hariharan I.:
    "An evolutionarily ancient role for Plexins during epithelial repair in Drosophila and zebrafish."
    Nature Communications 25, 7, 12281 (2016).
  • 2.*Yoo SK, Freisinger C, LeBert D and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Early redox, Src family kinase and calcium signaling integrate wound responses and tissue regeneration in zebrafish."
    J Cell Biol 199, 225-34 (2012).
  • 3.*Yoo SK, Lam PY, Eichelberg M, Zasadil L, Bement W and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Role of microtubules in neutrophil polarity and migration in live zebrafish."
    Journal of Cell Science 125, 5702-10 (2012).
  • 4.*Yoo SK, Starnes TW, Deng Q and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Lyn is a redox sensor that mediates leukocyte wound attraction in vivo."
    Nature 480, 109-12 (2012).
  • 5.*Deng Q, Yoo SK, Cavnar P, Green JM and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Dual roles for Rac2 in neutrophil motility and retention in zebrafish hematopoietic tissues."
    Developmental Cell 21, 735-45 (2011).
  • 6.*Yoo SK and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Spatiotemporal photolabeling of neutrophils during induction and resolution of inflammation in zebrafish."
    J Leukoc Biol 89, 661-667 (2011).
  • 7.*Walters KB, Green JM, Surfus JC, Yoo SK, and Huttenlocher A.:
    "Live imaging of neutrophil motility in a zebrafish model of WHIM syndrome."
    Blood 116, 2803-2811 (2010).
  • 8.*Yoo SK, Deng Q, Cavnar P, Wu Y, Hahn KM, Huttenlocher A.:
    "Differential regulation of protrusion and polarity by PI(3)K during neutrophil motility in live zebrafish."
    Developmental Cell 18, 226-236 (2010).
  • 9.*Yoo SK, Huttenlocher A.:
    "Innate immunity: wounds burst H2O2 signals to leukocytes."
    Current Biology 19, 553-5 (2009).
  • 10.*Nishita M, Yoo SK, Nomachi A, Kani S, Sougawa N, Ohta Y, Takada S, Kikuchi A, Minami Y.:
    "Filopodia formation mediated by receptor tyrosine kinase Ror2 is required for Wnt5a-induced cell migration."
    J Cell Biol 175, 555-62 (2006).

Recent Research Results

Annual research report

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Sa Kan Yoo
Chief Scientist

Core members

Morihiro Okada
Postdoctoral Researcher
Hiroshi Nishida
Junior Research Associate
Ayaka Sasaki
Student Trainee
Tomomi Takano
Technical Staff I
Hanna Ciesielski
Technical Staff II
Khadija Agossif
Technical Staff II
Aya Fukuhara
Part-time Worker
Ayako Kuramoto
Part-time Worker
Mihoko Katayama
Part-time Worker

Contact Information

Room N404, RIKEN CDB Bldg.A,
2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan
Email: sakan.yoo [at] riken.jp