About the National University of Singapore

About NUSA leading global university centred in Asia, NUS is Singapore's flagship university, offering a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

About the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

About MBIOne of four Research Centres of Excellence at NUS, MBI is working to identify, measure and describe how the forces for motility and morphogenesis are expressed at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.
Yusuke Toyama 2017-05-03T10:38:22+00:00


Assistant Professor, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

+65 6601 1273 ext 11557
09-03-06 T-Lab
National University of Singapore
5A Engineering Drive 1
Singapore 11273

Curriculum Vitae

Research Program
Mechanotransduction in Tissues Group

Recent Research

From the Bottom Up

Basal protrusions stimulate rosette formation during cell intercalation

By | Apr 20th, 2017|Categories: Amourda C Research, Featured Research, Hara Research, Saunders Lab, Science Features, Shagirov M Research, Toyama Lab, Zijun S Research|Comments Off on From the Bottom Up

Illuminating the Contacts

Using superresolution imagining to map adherens junction machinery

By | Feb 10th, 2017|Categories: Bertocchi Research, Featured Research, Hara Research, Kanchanawong Lab, Ladoux Lab, Ravasio Research, Science Features, Toyama Lab, Zaidel-Bar Lab|Comments Off on Illuminating the Contacts

Cell Extrusion Mechanisms

Making sure to expel an unwanted cell

By | Oct 20th, 2016|Categories: Featured Research, Ladoux Lab, Le AP Research, Lim CT Lab, Saw TB Research, Science Features, Shagirov M Research, Toyama Lab, Yow I Research|Comments Off on Cell Extrusion Mechanisms

Yusuke Toyama

Principal Investigator

Research Areas

Mechanobiology of cell and tissue dynamics; Developmental Biology; Biophysics, and BioImaging

Research Interests

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.


PhD Osaka University

Recent Publications

  1. Saw TB, Doostmohammadi A, Nier V, Kocgozlu L, Thampi S, Toyama Y, Marcq P, Lim CT, Yeomans JM, and Ladoux B. Topological defects in epithelia govern cell death and extrusion. Nature 2017; 544(7649):212-216. [PMID: 28406198]
  2. Ding WY, Ong HT, Hara Y, Wongsantichon J, Toyama Y, Robinson RC, Nédélec F, and Zaidel-Bar R. Plastin increases cortical connectivity to facilitate robust polarization and timely cytokinesis. J. Cell Biol. 2017;. [PMID: 28400443]
  3. Sun Z, Amourda C, Shagirov M, Hara Y, Saunders TE, and Toyama Y. Basolateral protrusion and apical contraction cooperatively drive Drosophila germ-band extension. Nat. Cell Biol. 2017;. [PMID: 28346438]
  4. Bertocchi C, Wang Y, Ravasio A, Hara Y, Wu Y, Sailov T, Baird MA, Davidson MW, Zaidel-Bar R, Toyama Y, Ladoux B, Mege R, and Kanchanawong P. Nanoscale architecture of cadherin-based cell adhesions. Nat. Cell Biol. 2016;. [PMID: 27992406]
  5. Teng X, Qin L, Le Borgne R, and Toyama Y. Remodeling of adhesion and modulation of mechanical tensile forces during apoptosis in Drosophila epithelium. Development 2016;. [PMID: 27888195]
  6. Kocgozlu L, Saw TB, Le AP, Yow I, Shagirov M, Wong E, Mège R, Lim CT, Toyama Y, and Ladoux B. Epithelial Cell Packing Induces Distinct Modes of Cell Extrusions. Curr. Biol. 2016;. [PMID: 27746027]
  7. Hara Y, Shagirov M, and Toyama Y. Cell Boundary Elongation by Non-autonomous Contractility in Cell Oscillation. Curr. Biol. 2016; 26(17):2388-96. [PMID: 27524484]
  8. 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, and Ladoux B. Gap geometry dictates epithelial closure efficiency. Nat Commun 2015; 6:7683. [PMID: 26158873]
  9. Vedula SRK, Peyret G, Cheddadi I, Chen T, Brugués A, Hirata H, Lopez-Menendez H, Toyama Y, de Almeida LN, Trepat X, Lim CT, and Ladoux B. Mechanics of epithelial closure over non-adherent environments. Nat Commun 2015; 6:6111. [PMID: 25608921]
  10. Kawashima T, Maruyama D, Shagirov M, Li J, Hamamura Y, Yelagandula R, Toyama Y, and Berger F. Dynamic F-actin movement is essential for fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana. Elife 2014; 3. [PMID: 25303363]

Lab Members

Yow Ying Ming Ivan

May 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Yow Ying Ming Ivan

PhD Student, Toyama Group

Minnah Thomas

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Minnah Thomas

PhD Student, Toyama Group

Murat Shagirov

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Murat Shagirov

Toyama Group

Yusuke Hara

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Yusuke Hara

Research Fellow, Toyama Group

Teng Xiang

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Teng Xiang

Research Associate, Toyama Group

Lim Kok Hwee Isaac

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Lim Kok Hwee Isaac

Research Assistant, Toyama Group

Sun Zijun

Apr 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Sun Zijun

PhD Student, Toyama Group