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Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

Kyoto University, BS
Kyoto University, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Postdoc
Janelia Research Campus (HHMI), Research Scientist

Areas of Interest

Animals show different behavioral responses to the same sensory input depending on their past experience or current context. How does the brain enable such flexibility? Our goal is to understand the mechanisms of this process at the levels of synaptic plasticity, neural circuit and behavior. Our lab uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism. We employ multiple physiological techniques including in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recording, two-photon calcium imaging and behavior assays. Previously, we demonstrated the long-term synaptic plasticity that underlies associative olfactory learning in this system. We ask how these synaptic changes are integrated and ultimately alter the animal’s action selection. We also address molecular basis of synaptic plasticity by using genetic tools.

Awards and Honors

2005-2008 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowships for Young Scientists
2008-2010 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad
2010-2011 The Uehara Memorial Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
2016 Young Investigator Award, International Symposium of Olfaction and Taste
2017 Young Investigator Award, Japan Neuroscience Society
2017 The Researchers with Nice Step Award, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy of Japan


Department of Biology

Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences