Yusuke Toyama

Principal Investigator, MBI

email: dbsty@nus.edu.sg

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Principal Investigator, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory

Mechanobiology of cell and tissue dynamics, Developmental biology, Biophysics, and Bioimaging.

One of the most fundamental aspects of biological phenomena is the mechanical force exerted by cells and tissues. The extraction of mechanical signature from cell tissue dynamics using an interdisciplinary approach, including imaging, quantitative analysis, gene manipulation, and biophysical modeling is fundamental to this project and my overall research. In addition, developing methodologies to quantify mechanical forces in vivo is another pillar of this project. I believe these studies on mechanical force, as a resultant of collective effect of molecular level activities are complement to the science in mechanobiology.

Dr Toyama had a formal training in physics and engineering during graduate (Osaka University) and undergraduate (Hokkaido University) school in Japan. In 2003, he earned a Ph.D. in Engineering where his doctoral work was focused on Laser Driven Inertial Confinement Fusion. Dr Toyama then embraced biological physics during his Postdoctoral carrier at Duke University. As part of his work with Prof Glenn Edwards (Physics department) and Prof Dan Kiehart (Biology department), he revealed a novel role for programme cell death (apoptosis): it serves as a source of mechanical forces that promote tissue movements during epithelial fusion. In May 2010, Dr Toyama joined Department of Biological Sciences at National University of Singapore as an Assistant Prof with joint appointments of MBI and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory.


See latest publications.

Sun Z, Amourda C, Shagirov M, Hara Y, Saunders TE, Toyama Y.
“Basolateral protrusion and apical contraction cooperatively drive Drosophila germband extension.”
Nature Cell Biology (2017, in press)

Saw TB, Doostmohammadi A, Nier V, Kocgozlu L, Thampi S, Toyama Y, Marcq P, Lim CT*, Yeomans JM*, Ladoux B*
“Topological defects in epithelia govern cell death and extrusion”
Nature (2017, in press)

Teng X, Qin L, Le Borgne R, Toyama Y.
“Remodeling of adhesion and modulation of mechanical tensile forces during apoptosis in Drosophila epithelium”
Development 144, 95-105 (2017)

Bertocchi C, Wang Y, Ravasio A, Hara Y, Wu Y, Sailov T, Baird MA, Davidson MW, Zaidel-Bar R, Toyama Y, Ladoux B, Mege RM, Kanchanawong P.
“Nanoscale architecture of cadherin-based cell adhesions”
Nature Cell Biology 19, 28-37 (2017)

Kocgozlu L*, Saw TB*, Le AP, Yow I, Shagirov M, Wong E, Mège RM, Lim CT, Toyama Y**, Ladoux B**
*, **: Equal contribution
“Epithelial cell packing induces distinct modes of cell extrusions”
Current Biology 26, 2942-50 (2016)

Hara Y, Shagirov M, Toyama Y.
“Cell boundary elongation by non-autonomous contractility in cell oscillation”
Current Biology 26, 2388-96 (2016)

Ravasio A, Cheddadi I, Chen T, Pereira T, Ong HT, Bertocchi C, Brugues A, Jacinto A, Kabla AJ, Toyama Y, Trepat X, Gov N, Neves de Almeida L, Ladoux B.
“Gap geometry dictates epithelial closure efficiency”
Nature Communications 6, 7683 (2015)

Vedula S.R.K, Peyret G, Cheddadi I, Chen T, Brugués A, Hirata H, Lopez-Menendez H, Toyama Y, Almeida L, Trepat X, Lim CT, Ladoux B
“Mechanics of epithelial closure over non-adherent environments”
Nature Communications 6, 6111 (2015)

Kawashima T, Maruyama D, Shagirov M, Hamamura Y, Li J, Yelagandula R, Toyama Y, Berger F
“Dynamic F-actin movement is essential for fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana”
eLife 3, 04501 (2014)

Vedula S.R.K, Hirata H, Nai MH, Brugés A, Toyama Y, Trepat X, Lim CT and Ladoux B.
“Epithelial bridges maintain tissue integrity during collective cell migration”
Nature Material 13, 87–96 (2014)

Sokolow, A, Toyama, Y, Kiehart, D.P. and Edwards, G.S.
“Cell ingression and apical shape oscillations during dorsal closure in Drosophila”
Biophysical Journal 102, 969-979 (2012)

Teng, X, Toyama Y.
“Apoptotic force: Active mechanical function of cell death during morphogenesis”
Development Growth and Differentiation. 53, 269-276 (2011) Review

Layton, A.T.,* Toyama, Y.,* Yang, G-Q.,* Edwards, G.S., Kiehart, D.P., Venakides, S.
*: Equal contribution.
“Drosophila Morphogenesis: Tissue Force Laws and the Modeling of Dorsal Closure”
HFSP (Human Frontier Science Program) Journal 3, 441-460 (2009).

Toyama, Y., Peralta, X.G., Wells, A.R., Kiehart, D.P., and Edwards, G.S.
“Apoptotic force and tissue dynamics during Drosophila embryogenesis”
Science 321, 1683-1686 (2008).

Rodriguez-Diaz, A., Toyama, Y., Abravanel, D.L., Wiemann, J.M., Wells, A.R., Tulu, U.S., Edwards, G.S., and Kiehart, D.P.
“Actomyosin purse strings: renewable resources that make morphogenesis robust and resilient”
HFSP Journal 2, 220-237 (2008).

Peralta, X.G., Toyama, Y., Kiehart, D.P., and Edwards, G.S.
“Emergent properties during dorsal closure in Drosophila morphogenesis”
Physical Biology 5, 015004 (2008).

Peralta, X.G., Toyama, Y., Hutson, M.S., Montague, R., Venakides, S., Kiehart, D.P., and Edwards, G.S.
“Upregulation of forces and morphogenic asymmetries in dorsal closure during Drosophila development”
Biophysical Journal 92, 2583-2596 (2007).

Kiehart, D.P., Tokutake, Y., Chang, M.S., Hutson, M.S., Wiemann, J., Peralta, X.G., Toyama, Y., Wells, A.R., Rodriguez, A., and Edwards, G.S.
“Ultraviolet Laser Microbeam for Dissection of Drosophila Embryos. ”
Cell Biology: A Laboratory Handbook, 3rd edition, edited by J.E. Celis (2006), pp. 87-103, Elsevier (Chapter 9)