Current members

Hiroshi Akashi, Professor

I have been a Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at NIG since 2009. I did my PhD studies at the University of Chicago (1996) with Marty Kreitman and was a postdoctoral fellow with John Gillespie UC Davis. Before joining NIG, I was a faculty member at the University of Kansas (1998-2000) and Penn State University (2000-2008). My long-term interest is to infer the phenotypic basis and evolutionary dynamics of genome adaptation from within and between species sequence variation.

Tomotaka Matsumoto, Assistant Professor

I graduated from Kyushu University in 2013 and moved to NIG as a postdoc and began my current position in 2016. My particular field is population genetics. I focused on theoretical models of speciation during my PhD and my current research topic is finding context dependency in weak selection on codon usage bias from Drosophila genome data analysis and theoretical approach.

Tomoko Ohta, Professor Emeritus

I graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956 and spent a few years working at a publishing company before joining the Kihara Institute for Biological Research where I worked on plant cytogenetics. I completed my PhD studies at North Carolina State University in 1966 and joined the National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan where I have been studying molecular evolution and population genetics ever since. My current interests include relating recent progresss in epigenetics and gene regulation systems to mechanisms of genome evolution.

Ayumi Ashworth, Administrative assistant

I recently returned to Japan after three years in England and was glad to find a position where I can support people in research fields as I did before leaving Japan. Fortunately, I was able to join the Akashi Lab at NIG and am enjoying learning about the research and work in the lab. In my free time, as a mother of an energetic child and 2 dogs I don't have much of it but I enjoy watching musicals and musical movies whenever I have a chance.

Kent Kawashima, Postdoctoral researcher

My name is Kent. I am a wet-lab molecular biologist turned bioinformatician. I graduated from SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan) (PhD Genetics) and I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the lab. I am interested in evolutionary genetics and applied bioinformatics. I am especially interested in studying pathogen evolution and genotype-disease phenotype relationships in human diseases. In bioinformatics, I am developing software to make sophisticated evolutionary analyses accessible to everyone.

Haruka Yamashita, PhD student

I graduated from the Department of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. I have been motivated to study the evolutionary genomics from my undergraduate experience in NGS analysis using hybrid plants between wild and domesticated tobacco species. I am currently interested in understanding mechanisms of genome evolution related to transcriptional regulation especially the epigenetic and structural basis of chromatin dynamics. During holidays, I spend most of time in playing softball, tennis and futsal, travelling and visiting art museum. Aside from these outdoor activities, I also enjoy watching drama movies and solving jigsaw puzzles.

Hassan Sibroe Abdulla Daanaa, PhD student

I am from Ghana, although I’ve spent most of my life in Egypt. I did my BSc. in the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, and soon after, I was honored to have the opportunity to join the Akashi lab and pursue my interest in evolutionary genetics. I am leveraging knowledge from my research background in plant microbiomes to study genome evolution. I focus on understanding the roles of selection and mutation on both codon usage and tRNA evolution. For hobbies, I like to play and watch football and also discuss tactics- I am an avid supporter of Arsenal F.C. Besides football, I like hiking, though, during weekends, you might catch me doing any of the following: learning in the lab; reading cosmology or science fiction; listening to old time radio, vintage music or watching old movies.