Research Interests

We are interested in how T cells are generated in the thymus. We are thymus-lovers.

The long-term goal of our laboratory is to unveil molecular mechanisms that are essential for establishing the immune system. One of the most prominent characteristics of the immune system is the ability to distinguish foreign substances from self-components, so that the immune system attacks various pathogens while maintaining tolerance to the body’s self.

T cells are lymphocytes that play an essential role in distinguishing non-self from self. T cells acquire this ability by forming a functional repertoire of antigen recognition specificities during development in the thymus, through the process known as positive and negative selection. Much has been revealed during the past three decades regarding how antigen-receptor signals in developing T cells control the cells' fate upon positive and negative selection. However, how the thymus microenvironments contribute to the selection of functionally potent T cells still remains unclear.

Thus, our current interest is to understand molecular programs (1) that build functionally competent thymus microenvironments that are capable of supporting the production and selection of T cells [2004][2006][2008][2009][2011][2013][2015][2017], (2) that position developing T cells to localize within the thymus microenvironments for T cell repertoire formation [2002][2004][2006][2007][2009][2011][2013][2017], and (3) that govern thymic selection to establish functionally competent repertoire of mature T cells [2006][2010][2012][2015].

Unveiling molecular machinery that is essential for establishing functional thymus and governing T cell selection should aid in controlling immune diseases, including autoimmunity and allergy [2006][2008][2012][2012][2014][2015][2016][2017].

Laboratory members

Associate Professor; Izumi Ohigashi, Ph. D.
Assistant Professors; Sayumi Fujimori, Ph. D., Kenta Kondo, Ph. D.
Specially Appointed Professor, Visiting Professor, Honorary Professor; Yousuke Takahama, Ph. D.
Laboratory manager; Hitomi Kyuma
Laboratory administrator; Masayo Takeguchi
Ph. D. students; Hiroyuki Kondo, Naomi Muramatsu, Shahina Khanom
Undergraduate students; Hayato Abe, Yuta Fujimoto


Division of Experimental Immunology
Institute of Advanced Medical Sciences
University of Tokushima
3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima, Japan 770-8503

Phone +81-88-633-9452

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Information on Graduate School of Medicine at University of Tokushima

Last updated (in this page) on 9th April 2018