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Our research interest is in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying organ morphogenesis in vertebrates. Each organ has a characteristic shape that is required for its proper function. During development, the structure of an organ is produced by intrinsic and genetic programs in the embryo. Our primary goal is to elucidate the developmental programs and the subsequent behavior of cells and tissues that generate distinct morphology of organs. Knowledge obtained through these studies will be useful for considering our further interest, that is, issues of the morphological diversity of organs, which is caused by modifications and alterations of the developmental programs during evolution.
We are also investigating the mechanisms of organ regeneration. Although appropriate morphogenesis is essential to regenerate functional replica of lost organs, little attention has been paid to this in recent regeneration studies such as studies on stem cell biology. Result of our studies on organ morphogenesis during development and regeneration will contribute to the establishment of a scientific basis for regenerative medicine.