Labs and Faculty
Inter-Institutional Cooperative Laboratories
Laboratory of Applied Bioresources

KIKAWADA Takahiro Assoc. Prof. Ph.D.

Other Affiliations: National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)

Extreme biology, Molecular mimetics, Genomics


Extreme tolerance, Genome, Dry preservation technology


My personal motto is to undertake research with originality. There are many organisms that live in extreme environments, such as organisms that do not die even if they are completely dried up, or organisms that inhabit highly acidic lake. Let's unravel the secrets of these mysterious biological phenomena.


I spent all of my time until completing my master's degree in my hometown, Iwate, surrounded by rich nature. When I was a graduate student, I studied the regulation mechanism of gene expression using cultured rat cells. I finally left the Tohoku region when I was offered a job at a national research institute of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Tsukuba. Since 2000, I have been studying the extreme desiccation tolerance mechanism in the sleeping chironomid, an insect with the ability to survive drought. In the progress of this research, I identified important genes and metabolites involved in the desiccation tolerance Occasionally, I also conducted field sampling of insects that live in extreme environments. Currently, in collaboration with many research institutes in Japan and overseas, I am trying to get closer to the secret of the desiccation tolerance by combining cell engineering techniques such as genomics and genome editing technology using the dry-preservable cultured cell line (Pv11 cells) derived from the sleeping chironomid. Meanwhile, I am developing a technology for dry preservation of proteins and cells at room temperature by applying molecular mechanisms underlying the desiccation tolerance.

  • Insect sampling at the Outback in West Australia

  • With Professor Irina Donnik, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences


2015 – Present Associate Professor, Laboratory of Applied Bioresources, Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
2019 – Present Senior Principal Scientist, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)
2016 – 2019 Principal Scientist, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO
2009 Ph. D. Tokyo Institute of Technology
2006 – 2016 Principal Researcher, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS)
2001 – 2006 Researcher, NIAS
1994 – 2001 Researcher, National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science
1994 M. Sc. The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University
1992 B. Sc. Department of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University