Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Hiroyuki Sasaki Last modified date:2017.11.15

Graduate School
Undergraduate School
Other Organization
Administration Post
Vice President
Director of the Epigenom Network Research Center

Academic Degree
Doctor of Medical Science (MD, PhD)
Field of Specialization
Molecular Biology, Human Genetics
Outline Activities
Sasaki's research interest is epigenetics and epigenomics in mammals. Epigenetics refers to the regulation of gene activity based on modifications of chromatin: it stably maintains cellular identity (differentiation state) and serves as a cell memory. The epigenetic profile of a cell is called the epigenome, and characterization of the epigenomes of various cells and their regulation is thought to be the key to understanding of cell reprogramming and cancer formation. Sasaki investigates the regulatory mechanisms of the epigenome in mammals and their relevance to development, disease, phenotypic variation and evolution. He particularly focuses on genomic imprinting, which is a good model system to study epigenomic regulation in mammals. He was a program leader of a Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas supported by the MEXT from 2007 to 2012 and is a leader of an CREST project supported by the JST and AMED from 2013 to 2018. Sasaki teaches molecular biology, genetics, and epigenetics and supervise many graduate students. He was on newspapers and TV programs many times. He was awarded a Japanese Society of Human Genetics Award and a Japanese Society of Genetics Kihara Award. He also received a Purple Ribbon Medal of honor in 2015.
Research Interests
  • Epigenomics in Mammals
    keyword : epigenetics、genomic imprinting、small RNA
Current and Past Project
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas by MEXT, 2013.7~2018.3
  • Epigenome analysis of cells in the placenta and endometrium forming the fetal-maternal interface, Strategic Basic Research Programs (CREST) supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency, 2012.10~2018.3
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas by MEXT, 2007.10~2013.3
Academic Activities
1. Stunnenberg, H.G., The International Human Epigenome Consortium, Hirst, M., The International Human Epigenome Consortium: a blueprint for scientific collaboration and discovery., Cell 167, 1145-1149, 2016.11.
1. Watanabe, T., Tomizawa, S., Mitsuya, K., Totoki, Y., Yamamoto, Y., Kuramochi-Miyagawa, S., Iida, N., Hoki, Y., Murphy, P.J., Toyoda, A., Gotoh, K., Hiura, H., Arima, T., Fujiyama, A., Sado, T., Shibata, T., Nakano, T., Lin, H., Ichiyanagi, K., Soloway, P.D. & Sasaki, H., Role for piRNAs and non-coding RNA in de novo DNA methylation of the imprinted mouse Rasgrf1 locus., Science 332, 848-852, 2011.05.
1. Sasaki, H., Inoue, K., Fukuda, K., Glinka, M., Ichiyanagi, K., Switching from post-transcriptional to transcriptional silencing of retrotransposons during male germ-cell development, The 4th Cold Spring Harbor Asia conference on Chromatin, Epigenetics and Transcription, Suzhou, China, 2016.05.09.
2. Hiroyuki Sasaki, Dynamic changes in DNA methylation and gene expression in spermatogonial stem cell differentiation in neonatal mouse testis, Epigenetics, chromatine & transcription, Cold Spring Harbor Conferences Asia, Suzhou, China, 2014.05.06.
3. Hiroyuki Sasaki, Epigenetic events in mammalian germ-cell development, Gordon Research Conference on Germinal Stem Cell Biology, Hong Kong, 2013.07.16.
4. Gordon Research Conference on Epigenetics: Mechanisms, Development and Disease.
5. Sasaki, H., Watanabe, T, Role for PIWI-interacting RNA and a novel noncoding RNA in de novo DNA methylation of the imprinted Rasgrf1 locus in the mouse germline, 2010 Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference on Epigenetics, Chromatin and Transcription, Suzhou, China, 2010.05.19.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The Japanese Society for Epigenetics
  • The Japan Society of Human Genetics
  • The Molecular Biology Society of Japan
  • The Genetics Society of Japan
  • Japan Society for Reproductive Regeneration
  • Society of Evolutionary Studies, Japan