So Nagaoka

Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Nara Medical University *Profile is at the time of the award.

2022Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
The elucidation of transcriptional mechanisms establishing oocyte function and ensuring oocyte survival during mouse development
Germ cells have the power to produce all the cells that make up the body through fertilization, and are the foundation that assures the continuity of life. The female germ cell, the egg, gradually acquires its function from the embryonic stage, but much of the processes that take place in the fetus has been difficult to study. In recent years, a method for inducing germ cells on a cultured dish using pluripotent stem cells (e.g., iPS cells) has been developed, and it has become possible to construct experimental methods that were previously difficult to conduct. Using this experimental system, we were able to clarify the mechanisms of how sexually uncommitted germ cells take the first step to become an egg. Along the way, we found many new factors necessary for the function and the survival of the egg. In the current study, through the investigation of the newly identified factors, we aim to elucidate the mechanism of how the egg acquires it functions and how a safeguard system is in place to protect the contents of this special cell in the body. The results of this research will help us better understand the causes of infertility and congenital anomalies, and are expected to make an important contribution in understanding the mechanism of how the life assures its continuity.


It is a great honor to be selected for such a prestigious research grant, and I will continue to devote myself further in advancing the science and contributing to the society.

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Biology & Life sciences