BDR researchers coming from diverse research fields are working together to achieve higher goals.

Seminars & Symposia

Seminars & Symposia

BDR hosts annual symposium and regular seminars inviting international scientists in life science.

Careers & Study

Careers & Study

BDR embraces people from diverse backgrounds, and strives to create an open and supportive setting for research.



BDR communicates the appeal and significance of our research to society through the use of various media and activities.



From research, events, people and everything in between, find out what’s going on at RIKEN BDR.

About Us

About Us

Exploring the scientific foundations of life through interdisciplinary approaches to address society’s problems.

Photo of Team leder, Shigeo Hayashi

Team Leader
Shigeo Hayashi Ph.D.

Laboratory for Morphogenetic Signaling

Location Kobe / Developmental Biology Buildings


Please replace [at] with @.

Morphogenesis of cell and organ shape

Our research aim is to understand fundamental mechanisms of animal morphogenesis with particular interest in the mechanical basis of tissue movement and its interaction with the extracellular environment. Our main research focus is the tracheal system in the Drosophila embryo, a network of tubular epithelium used as a respiratory organ. Trachea is formed through invagination, tube formation, elongation, fusion, and final maturation into a respiratory organ. We are particularly interested in the mechanical control of epithelial architectures. Epithelium is stabilized by cell-cell adhesion and cell-matrix adhesion. Breaking this stability is essential for initiating morphogenetic movement. We found that prospective tracheal primordium is under negative tension (pressurized). Anisotropic redistribution of tissue tension and timely mitosis initiates local mechanical instability that leads to tissue invagination movement (Kondo and Hayashi, 2013). Once the tracheal network is formed, tube diameter and length are enlarged to reach the final size. Tracheal size change involves increase in cell size, especially an increase in apical cell area facing the luminal side. A key question is how individually controlled cellular growth is coordinated to form coherent tissue architecture. We found that extracellular matrix in the luminal space plays a central role by providing mechanical stability to the tubules (Dong et al., 2013, 2014). Defects in extracellular matrix components lead to destabilization of tube shape and malformation, resulting in tubule morphology seen in organs under pathological conditions.

Another research area of interest is the mechanism of cell morphogenesis. Here we ask the question to what extent single cells can autonomously organize nanometer scale cellular patterns. Our studies have uncovered the role of the cellular trafficking center as an organizer of cell elongation (Otani et al., 2011).

Research Theme

  • Dynamics of epithelial architectures in morphogenesis
  • Control of cytoskeletons in cell morphogenesis

Selected Publications

Chu WC, Hayashi S.
Mechano-chemical enforcement of tendon apical ECM into nano-filaments during Drosophila flight muscle development.
Current biology : CB 31(7), 1366-1378 (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.010

Ando T, Sekine S, Inagaki S, et al.
Nanopore Formation in the Cuticle of an Insect Olfactory Sensillum.
Current biology : CB 29(9), 1512-1520 (2019) doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.043

Ogura Y, Wen FL, Sami MM, et al.
A Switch-like Activation Relay of EGFR-ERK Signaling Regulates a Wave of Cellular Contractility for Epithelial Invagination.
Developmental cell 46(2), 162-172 (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.06.004

Miao G, Hayashi S.
Escargot controls the sequential specification of two tracheal tip cell types by suppressing FGF signaling in Drosophila.
Development 143, 4261-4271 (2016) doi: 10.1242/dev.133322

Otani T, Ogura Y, Misaki K, et al.
IKKepsilon inhibits PKC to promote Fascin-dependent actin bundling.
Development 143, 3806-3816 (2016) doi: 10.1242/dev.138495

Kato K, Dong Bo, Wada H, et al.
Microtubule-dependent balanced cell contraction and luminal-matrix modification accelerate epithelial tube fusion.
Nature Communications 7, 11141 (2016) doi: 10.1038/ncomms11141

Hannezo E, Dong B, Recho P, et al.
Cortical instability drives periodic supracellular actin pattern formation in epithelial tubes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(28), 8620-5 (2015) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504762112

Dong B, Kakihara K, Otani T, et al.
Rab9 and retromer regulate retrograde trafficking of luminal protein required for epithelial tube length control.
Nature Communications 4, 1358 (2013) doi: 10.1038/ncomms2347

Kondo T, Hayashi S.
Mitotic cell rounding accelerates epithelial invagination.
Nature 494, 125-129 (2013) doi: 10.1038/nature11792