photo:Masashi Fukuzawa Professor

Masashi Fukuzawa

  • Title Professor
  • Department Biology
  • Course Basic Biology Course
  • Research Field Developmental Biology
  • E-mail fukuzawa [at]
    please substitute @ for [at]
  • Phone +81-172-39-2596


My lab studies a model organism, Dictyostelium, focusing on molecular mechanisms of how cell differentiation and morphogenesis are controlled.

In higher animals such as humans, many genes are involved in development, and that they are cross-talked, so even in a modern era, it is difficult to understand the whole mechanism of development though the gene circuit for regulating development can be describable. The social amoeba, which should be much simpler multicellular bodies than higher animals, the life phenomenon is still deep and there are so many biological circumstances to be elucidated. The simplicity and easiness of handling of the social amoeba has a great advantage, particularly for a new comer to lab; you can plan experiments and reach a certain stage of the research project within a term, hopefully publishing a research paper. 

In a biology field, I feel an affection (or love) for the creature is a must. Depending on the field of research, for example, there are applied fields where any organisms can be used as long as any human-useful substance can be taken, but the biology places great importance on the basic field and aims to pursue knowledge such as what a life is. Research of the social amoeba provides various ways to study basic biology. In my lab you will experience a sense of direct connection between experiments and results, leading to understanding of life phenomena.

Research Theme

Education & Appointments

1985 B.A. (Biology) Department of Botany, Faculty of Science,
Hokkaido University; Sapporo, Japan

1987 M.A. (Biology) Department of Botany, Faculty of Science,
Hokkaido University; Sapporo, Japan

1993 PhD (Biology) Department of Botany, Faculty of Science,
Hokkaido University; Sapporo, Japan

1990 – 1996 Research Associate at the Department of Biological Science,
Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.

1996 – 1998 Postdoctoral fellow; MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology,
University College London, UK, funded by a BBSRC.

1998 – 2004 Postdoctoral fellow; Department of Anatomy and Physiology,
University of Dundee, UK, funded by a Wellcome Trust.

2004 – 2010 Associate professor; Department of Biology, Faculty of
Agriculture and Science,Hirosaki University

2010 – Professor; Department of Biology, Faculty of Agriculture
and Science, Hirosaki University



  1. Fukuzawa M.
    Reproductive strategy in social amoeba.
    In “Reproductive & Developmental Strategies for Life Continuity” eds by K. Kobayashi, T. Kitano, Y. Iwao, M. Kondo, Springer (promised to be published in 2017).
  2. Kuwana S, Senoo H, Sawai S, Fukuzawa M.
    A novel, lineage-primed prestalk cell subtype involved in the morphogenesis of D. discoideum.
    Developmental Biology, 416, 286-99 (2016).
  3. Senoo H, Araki T, Fukuzawa M, Williams JG.
    A new kind of membrane-tethered eukaryotic transcription factor that shares an auto-proteolytic processing mechanism with bacteriophage tail-spike proteins.
    Journal of cell science, 126, 5247-58 (2013).
  4. Sato YG, Kagami HN, Narita TB, Fukuzawa M, Saito T.
    Steely enzymes are involved in prestalk and prespore pattern formation.
    Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 77, 2008-12, (2013).
  5. Senoo, H., Wang, H. Y., Araki, T., Williams, J. G., Fukuzawa M.
    An orthologue of the Myelin-gene Regulatory Transcription Factor regulates Dictyostelium prestalk differentiation.
    Int J Dev Biol, 56, 325-334 (2012).
  6. Fukuzawa M.
    Control of prestalk-cell differentiation by transcription factors.
    Dev Growth Differ, 53, 538-547 (2011).
  7. Ochiai, H., Takeda, K., Fukuzawa M., Kato, A., Takiya, S. & Ohmachi, T.
    Protein kinase B gene homologue pkbR1 performs one of its roles at first finger stage of Dictyostelium.
    Eukaryotic Cell, 10, 512-520 (2011).

Keyword :
1.22.2019 update

Masashi Fukuzawa