Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Ayumu Tashiro

Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Asst Prof Ayumu Tashiro

2012- current Assistant professor
Warwick Neuroscience programme, School of Biological Sciences, NTU
2006-2009 Postdoctoral researcher, 2009-current Group leader
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
2003-2006 Postdoctoral fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, USA
2002-2003 Postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University, New York, USA

2008 Gruber International research award in Neuroscience
Research Interests
Our lab studies the function of hippocampus circuitry through an interdisciplinary approach combining virus-mediated genetic manipulation, optogenetics and unit recording techniques in behaving rodents. The hippocampus is well known for its functions in memory formation. We are interested in how neuronal circuits in the hippocampus mediate these functions. We particularly focus on two distinct phenomena occurring in the adult hippocampus.

The first is adult neurogenesis (generation of new neurons), which occurs exclusively in a hippocampal subregion called the dentate gyrus and a few other area outside the hippocampus. We are interested in 1) how neural processing/activity in the dentate gyrus determines birth of new neurons and their subsequent functional integration into existing circuits and 2) how those new neurons integrated into circuits contribute to the hippocampal functions.

The second focus is the cellular mechanism of place-cell activity. Place cells are electrophysiologically-defined cell types found in multiple subregions of the hippocampus. When animals explore environments, place cells fire at specific locations in the environments, which suggests that place-cell activity mediates spatial memory processing in the hippocampus. We investigate cellular mechanism underlying properties of place-cell activity using virus-mediated local genetic manipulations.

Our goal is to understand physiological mechanisms in the hippocampus and to provide basic information which is critical to treat and cure brain disorders including dementia, neurodegenerative disease and depression.
Current Projects
  • Defining the brain circuitry defects that cause dementia
  • Development of functional synaptic output from new neurons generated from adult neural stem cells in the hippocampus
  • Development of optoelectrical bimodal monitoring technique for neuronal activity in live brain: an application to the investigation of neural circuit functions
  • Long-Term In Vivo Imaging Of Adult Neurogenesis Induced ByBehaviourally-Driven Neuronal Activity: An Effect Of Aging(NIM/02/2016)
  • Molecular mechanisms for enrichment-induced survival of new neurons in the adult hippocampus
  • Neuronal and glial mechanisms of spatial representation in the hippocampus
  • Optogenetic Information feeding into the brain : Can we teach an alphabet to the brain?
  • Warwick-NTU Neuroscience Research @ Singapore (WN2R@S) On Opto-Genetic Tools For Investigating Glial Cell Biology(Principal Investigators: Asst Prof Albert I. Chen and AsstProf Ayumu Tashiro)
Selected Publications
  • Kitanishi, T, Ujita, S, Fallahnezhad, M, Kitanishi, N, Ikegaya, Y, Tashiro, A. (2015). Novelty-induced phase-locked firing to slow gamma oscillations in the hippocampus: requirement of synaptic plasticity. Neuron, 86(5), 1265-76.
  • Verma, P, Augustine, GJ, Ammar, MR, Tashiro, A, Cohen, SM. (2015). A neuroprotective role for microRNA miR-1000 mediated by limiting glutamate excitotoxicity. Nature Neuroscience, 18(3), 379-387.
  • Marumoto T, Tashiro A, Friedmann-Morvinski D, Scadeng M, Soda Y, Gage FH, Verma IM. (2009). Development of a novel mouse glioma model using lentiviral vectors.. Nature Medicine, 15(1), 110-116.
  • Tashiro A, Makino H, Gage FH. (2007). Experience-specific functional modification of the dentate gyrus through adult neurogenesis: A critical period during an immature stage. The Journal of Neuroscience, 27(12), 3252-3259.
  • Tashiro A, Sandler VM, Toni N, Zhao C, Gage FH. (2006). NMDA-receptor-mediated, cell-specific integration of new neurons in adult dentate gyrus. Nature, 442(7105), 929-933.

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