2. Research
  3. Researcher's Profile
  4. Yoshitaka SHIRASAKI

Researcher's Profile

  • Associate Professor
  • Yoshitaka SHIRASAKI
  • Photonic Imaging

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April 2004 Doctoral Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
March 2007 Doctor of Science, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
April 2007 Project Researcher, Kazusa DNA Res. Inst.
April 2009 SPDR / Researcher, RIKEN RCAI / IMS
November 2014 Project Research Associate, Depertment of Biological Sciences, The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)
October 2017 PRESTO Researcher of Japan Science and Technology
April 2019 Project Research Associate, Depertment of Biological Sciences, UTokyo
April 2020 Project Research Associate, Depertment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UTokyo
August 2023 Assosicate Professor, RCAST, UTokyo

Research Interests

We are developing tools for microscopy using the latest optical technologies and microfluidic techniques to understand the biological activities of cells.

Live-Cell Imaging of Secretion activity (LCI-S): This tool combines an antibody-based sandwich fluorescence immunoassay with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to observe cellular secretion in real time (Figure 1 upper).

Time-Dependent Cell-State Selection (TDCSS): This tool tracks cellular changes (e.g., activation or cell death) in real time to find cells that have reached a specific cell-state, harvest them, and examine their gene expression. This allows for a detailed investigation of the genes that control cell activation (Figure 1, lower).

For example, LCI-S visualizes the messages that cells release when they are dying. Cells infected with virus or bacteria cause regulated cell death and release inflammation-associated molecules (Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns: DAMPs) to the extracellular space. However, how exactly DAMPs are released from cells has not yet been elucidated, and LCI-S can simultaneously observe the release of DAMPs and the state of cells, contributing to the elucidation of the mechanism of controlled cell death (Figure 2). LCI-S can also track secretion-associated immune cell activity. Immune cells regulate immune system and maintain the well-being of our bodies by secreting proteins such as cytokines. LCI-S can track the secretion activity of immune cells over several days, enabling us to stratify pathological conditions or TDCSS can investigate genes that control activation of immune cells (Fig. 3).

  •  LCI-S & TDCSS
  • Fig.1. LCI-S & TDCSS
  •  Visualization of DAMPs release from dying cells
  • Fig.2. Visualization of DAMPs release from dying cells
  •  Visualization of secretion activity of living cells
  • Fig.3. Visualization of secretion activity of living cells


  • October 2015 JAM on cell death 2015, Best Poster Prizes
  • September 2019 JSEV2019 Young Investigator Award


Optical technologies, Microfluidic techniques, Microscopy

Educational Systems

  • Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate school of Engineering

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