Where did you study before coming to Toronto: I spent whole my research life in Tokyo before coming to Toronto. When I was a undergraduate student, I analyzed the molecular mechanism of cell cycle arrest in mammalian cells in Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science. I moved to Mitsubishi Institute of Life Sciences, to understand the molecular mechanism involving in memory consolidation and reconsolidation.
Currently working on: I work on the function of adult neurogenesis in learning/experience, and the molecular mechanism involving in adult neurogenesis.
Favorite paper: My favorite papers are “Distribution of spatial and nonspatial information in dorsal hippocampus” in Nature, 1999, and “Topography of Arc/Arg3.1 mRNA Expression in the Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampus Induced by Recent and Remote Spatial Memory Recall: Dissociation of CA3 and CA1 Activation” in Journal of Neuroscience, 2005. These papers clearly show that the neurons in dorsal hippocampus are anatomically divided in small segments, have functionally different properties.
Why science? If I weren’t a scientist, I would be… I am interested how memory is formed and coded in our brain, and whether we selectively erase aversive memories from our memory storages. I like to read scientific fictions. In the scientific novels and movies, human imagines futuristic things, all-purpose cure, memory-erase drug and so on. I believe that human is able to archive whatever we imagine. If I were not a scientist, I would be a wine grower. The grower chooses the grape, selects how to grow the grapes, and analyzes the taste of grapes, produces and introduces wines all over the world. These are similar to the life of scientist. I feel pleasure in these works to discover the new finding.
Interests outside the lab: Playing soccer, tennis and golf. Drinking beer and wine.
Favorite place in Toronto: Harborfront on Lake Ontario. It is a comfortable place to relax, also a nice place to walking and running.