Professor / ASHBi Director
Developmental Biology, Cell Biology
Saitou has been promoting studies on the developmental mechanisms of germ cells, the origin of all life. He clarified the formation mechanisms of mouse germ cells and successfully generated primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs) in vitro from mouse ESCs and iPSCs to produce sperm, oocytes and healthy offspring. He used this experimental system as a model to investigate the molecular mechanisms of key phenomena in germ cell development, including epigenomic reprogramming, oocyte differentiation, and meiosis induction mechanisms. Saitou’s analysis of the developmental mechanisms of cynomolgus monkeys has allowed us to identify the characteristics of pluripotent cell lineages in mice, monkeys and humans and the formation mechanisms of germ cells in primates. He has also generated PGCLCs and oogonium from human iPSCs and pioneered research on in vitro reconstitution in the process of human germ cell development.
Saitou aims to promote advanced human biology that develops these studies, to identify the characteristics and evolutionary mechanisms of humans and primates, and to lay out new possibilities in medical science.
|1995||M.D., Kyoto University|
|1999||Ph.D., Kyoto University|
|1999-2003||Travelling Research Fellow/Senior Research Associate, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute for Developmental Biology and Cancer|
|2003-2009||Team leader, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology|
|2009-2018||Professor, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University|
|2011-2018||Director, JST Strategic Basic Research Programs ERATO|
|2013-2018||Adjunct Principal Investigator, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University|
|2018-||Guest Principal Investigator, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University|
|2018-||Professor of KUIAS
Director of Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology, KUIAS
- Saitou, M., Barton, S. C., and Surani, M. A. A molecular programme for the specification of germ cell fate in mice. Nature, 418, 293-300 (2002).
- Ohinata, Y., Ohta, H., Shigeta, M., Yamanaka, K., Wakayama, T., and Saitou, M. A signaling principle for the specification of the germ cell lineage in mice. Cell, 137, 571-584 (2009).
- Hayashi, K., Ohta, H., Kurimoto, K., Aramaki, S., and Saitou, M. Reconstitution of the mouse germ cell specification pathway in culture by pluripotent stem cells. Cell, 146, 519-532 (2011).
- Nakamura, T., Okamoto, I., Sasaki, K., Yabuta, Y., Iwatani, C., Tsuchiya, H., Seita, Y., Nakamura, S., Yamamoto, T., and Saitou, M. A developmental coordinate of pluripotency among mice, monkeys, and humans, Nature, 537, 57-62 (2016).
- Yamashiro, C., Sasaki, K., Yabuta, Y., Kojima, Y., Nakamura, T., Okamoto, I., Yokobayashi, S., Murase, Y., Ishikura, Y., Shirane, K., Sasaki, H., Yamamoto, T., and Saitou, M. Generation of human oogonia from induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro, Science, 362, 356-360 (2018).
Osaka Science Prize (2013), Japan Academy Medal, JSPS Prize (2014), Takeda Medical Prize (2016), Academic Award of the Mochida Memorial Foundation (2018), Asahi Prize, Uehara Prize, Imperial Prize and Japan Academy Prize, ISSCR Momentum Award, EMBO Associate Member (2020)