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.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (BIOPHYSICS and MECHANOBIOLOGY)
Sokolow, A., Toyama, Y., Kiehart, D.P., and Edwards, G.S. ‘Cell ingression and apical shape oscillations during dorsal closure in Drosophila’ Biophysical Journal (2012 in press).
Teng, X and Toyama Y. ‘Apoptotic force: Active mechanical function of cell death during morphogenesis.’ Development, Growth & Differentiation 53, 269–276 (2011).
Toyama Y. ‘Mechanical Forces Due to Cell Destruction: Biophysical Investigation of the Role of Apoptosis (Programmed Cell Death) in Tissue Dynamics’ Seibutsu Butsuri (Journal of the Biophysics Society of Japan) 50, 304 (2010).
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 (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 (2008).
Commentaries on this paper: Perspective, Science 321, 1641 (2008), Editors’ Choice, Science Signal. 1, ec334 (2008), Research highlights, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 9, 3539 (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 (2008). (Cover page.)
Peralta, X.G., Toyama, Y., Kiehart, D.P., and Edwards, G.S.’Emergent properties during dorsal closure in Drosophila morphogenesis’ Physical Biology 5, Article No.: 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 (2007).