Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Hiroyuki Sasaki Last modified date:2021.07.30

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Academic Degree
Doctor of Medical Science (MD, PhD)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Molecular Biology, Genetics, Epigenetics, Developmental Biology
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
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 is thought to be the key to understanding of cell reprogramming and carcinogenesis. Sasaki investigates the regulatory mechanisms of the epigenome in mammals and their relevance to development, disease, phenotypic variation, and evolution. He is particularly interested in 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 (2007-2012) and was a PI of a CREST project supported by the JST and AMED (2013-2018). He now leads a Specially Promoted Research supported by JSPS (2018-). Sasaki teaches molecular biology, genetics, and epigenetics and mentors many undergraduate and 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 and Uehara Award in 2018.
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
Academic Activities
1. Tucci, V., Isles, A., Kelsey, G., Ferguson-Smith, A.C. & The Erice Imprinting Group, Genomic imprinting and physiological processes in mammals., Cell 176(5), 952-965, 2019.02.
2. 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. Yamashiro, C., Sasaki, K., Yabuta, Y., Kojima, Y., Nakamura, T., Okamoto, I., Yokobayashi, S., Murase, Y., Ishikura, I., Shirane, K., Sasaki, H., Yamamoto, T. & Saitou, M., Generation of human oogonia from induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro., Science, 362, 6412, 356-360, 2018.10.
2. 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.
3. Watanabe, T., Totoki, Y., Toyoda, A., Kaneda, M., Kuramochi-Miyagawa, S., Obata, Y., Chiba, H., Kohara, Y., Kono, T., Nakano, T., Surani, M.A., Sakaki, Y. & Sasaki, H., Endogenous siRNAs from naturally formed dsRNAs regulate transcripts in mouse oocytes, Nature , 453, 539-543, 2008.05.
4. Kaneda, M., Okano, M., Hata, K., Sado, T., Tsujimoto, N., Li, E. & Sasaki, H., Essential role for de novo DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a in paternal and maternal imprinting, Nature , 429, 900-903, 2004.06.
5. Ferguson-Smith, A.C., Sasaki, H., Cattanach, B.M. & Surani, M.A., Parental-origin-specific epigenetic modification of the mouse H19 gene, Nature , 362, 751-755, 1993.04.
6. Sasaki, H., Sakaki, Y., Takagi, Y., Sahashi, I., Takahashi, A., Shinoda, T., Isobe, T., Matsuo, H., Goto, I. & Kuroiwa, Y., Presymptomatic diagnosis of heterozygosity for familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy by recombinant DNA techniques, Lancet , 325, 8420, 100-100, 1985.01.
1. Sasaki, H., Distinct roles of epigenetic regulators in mouse oocytes and somatic cells, 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meeting Epigenetics & Chromatin, New York, USA, 2018.09.
2. Sasaki, H., Role of UHRF1 in de novo DNA methylation in oocytes and maintenance methylation in preimplantation embryos, 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference on Epigenetics, Chromatin and Transcription, Suzhou, China, 2018.04.
3. Sasaki, H., Switching from post-transcriptional to transcriptional silencing of retrotransposons during male germ-cell development, 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference on Epigenetics, Chromatin and Transcription, Suzhou, China, 2016.05.
4. Sasaki, H., Dynamic changes in DNA methylation and gene expression in spermatogonial stem cell differentiation in neonatal mouse testis, 2014 Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference on Epigenetics, Chromatin and Transcription, Suzhou, China, 2014.05.
5. Sasaki, H., Epigenetic events in mammalian germ-cell development, Gordon Research Conference on Germinal Stem Cell Biology, Hong Kong, China, 2013.07.
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
Educational Activities
I give lectures for classes of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and serve as a thesis adviser for master and doctor course students. I also give lectures for undergraduate classes of the Department of Biomedical Science, School of Medicine, and serve as a thesis adviser for students who work for a bachelor degree. Outside of Kyushu University, I gave lectures as an adjunct professor or a part-time lecturer in the following institutions: Graduate University for Advanced Studies, University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Osaka University , Hokkaido University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ochanomizu University, Kanazawa University, Yamanashi University, Shizuoka University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Shimane University, Tokushima University, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kumamoto University, Kagoshima University, Gunma University, Yokohama City University, Kitasato University, and Sojo University.