Kazama Lab

About the lab and the institute

The adult Drosophila has recently proven to be a highly suitable model organism to study sensory and systems neuroscience. This is because it has become possible to apply electrophysiological recordings and fluorescence imaging to monitor the activity of neurons in the fly brain in vivo. Our lab is positioned as one of the laboratories to carry out patch-clamp intracellular recording, which is a particularly powerful technique. Due to the relatively small number of central neurons and highly developed genetics, many neurons in the fly brain are identifiable. This property offers us a unique opportunity to examine the same type of cells across animals. Various genetic tools are available for labeling and manipulating neurons. It is also possible to monitor the behavior of individual flies with high spatiotemporal resolution, which helps us read out the animal's perception. By combining in vivo electrophysiology, two-photon microscopy, genetically encoded electrical/chemical modulators, behavioral analysis, and computational modeling, we have a chance to comprehensively understand the cellular, synaptic, and circuit mechanisms underlying sensory perception.

BSI houses about 40 labs working in the field of neuroscience and takes interdisciplinary and synergetic approaches to conduct research. More than 20 percent of the researchers are from abroad and seminars are held in English. There are ample opportunities to interact with peers such as seminars given by invited speakers, weekly luncheon seminars presented by various labs, and annual retreat. BSI also strives to nurture young scientists by hosting summer schools and tutorial seminar series. If you are interested in working in this exciting environment, please feel free to contact me any time.

Join as a postdoctoral researcher

We are looking for applicants who have received or expecting to receive a Ph.D. in related fields and are enthusiastic about our research goal. Strong expertise in electrophysiology, imaging, systems neuroscience, molecular biology, or genetics is a plus. We welcome applicants with backgrounds in engineering and physics as well. We note that RIKEN can act as a host of fellows funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and other organizations.

Join as a graduate student

1. Apply for the RIKEN Junior Research Associate program for graduate students.

This program provides part-time positions at RIKEN for young researchers enrolled in Japanese university PhD programs to give them the opportunity to carry out research alongside RIKEN scientists. The JRA program is intended for applicants attending Japanese graduate schools that have collaborative agreements for education and research with RIKEN or that are involved in joint research with RIKEN. Please refer to this website for details.

2. Apply for the graduate program at the University of Tokyo.

The team leader of thid lab is a visiting associate professor in Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Art and Sciences, the University of Tokyo. By entering the graduate program either from Master's or Doctor's course, it is possible to conduct research in our laboratory. The entrance exam is given in both Japanese and English. Please refer to this website for details.