Masafumi Inaba

  • PI
Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University
Assistant professor
Research Areas
Developmental biology
Pattern formation, organogenesis, chick embryo, gut, peristalsis, optogenetics

Related Outline

My study has focused on the developing mechanisms of animal morphology and its functions. I have worked on the pigment pattering on animal skin and revealed one of the cell-cell interactions that generate pigment patterns. More recently, I am interested in how the organ grows during development, especially in gut morphogenesis. Growing gut is expected to use long-range signal to coordinate the gross morphology, but the mechanism remains unknown. I focus on peristaltic waves propagating along gut tube and aime to demonstrate the peristaltic waves control the variety of gut morphogenesis, including gut elongation and villi formation.


Masafumi Inaba obtained his Ph.D. from Osaka University in 2012 and did post-doc research at Osaka Univ. in 2013. He moved to Cheng-Ming Chuong lab (Univ. of Southern California) in 2015 and engaged in the study of avian pigment patterning. He was appointed Assistant Professor in 2020 at the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University.

Representative Achievements

  • Distribution map of peristaltic waves in the chicken embryonic gut reveals importance of ENS and inter-region cross talks along the gut axis.
    Shikaya, Y., Takase, Y., Tadokoro, R., Nakamura, R., Inaba M. and Takahashi, Y.
    Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 10, 827079 (2022).
  • Avian Pigment Pattern Formation: Developmental Control of Macro- (Across the Body) and Micro- (Within a Feather) Level of Pigment Patterns.
    Inaba, M., Chuong, C.-M.
    Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 8, 620 (2020).
  • Instructive role of melanocytes during pigment pattern formation of the avian skin.
    Inaba, M., Jiang, T.-X., Liang, Y.-C., Tsai, S., Lai, Y.-C., Widelitz, R. B. & Chuong, C.-M.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 116, 6884–6890 (2019)
  • Turing patterning with and without a global wave.
    Inaba, M., Harn, H. I.-C. & Chuong, C.-M.
    PLoS Biol. 17, e3000195 (2019)
  • Pigment pattern formation by contact-dependent depolarization.
    Inaba, M., Yamanaka, H. & Kondo, S.
    Science 335, 677 (2012)