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 Leader, Wataru Kimura

Team Leader
Wataru Kimura Ph.D.

Laboratory for Heart Regeneration

Location Kobe / Developmental Biology Buildings

E-mail wataru.kimura[at]riken.jp

Please replace [at] with @.

Recruiting graduate students

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The main reason for this is our inability to regenerate damaged myocardium in the heart. Proliferation of cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells), is a major mediator of mammalian heart regeneration in neonates and myocardial turnover in adults. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating the cardiomyocyte cell cycle. We have recently shown that a rapid increase in mitochondrial respiration and in oxidative stress induce cell cycle arrest in neonatal cardiomyocytes. Our research interest focuses on how the postnatal mammalian heart loses regenerative capacity following injury- and age-related myocardial damage, and whether it is possible to re-awaken endogenous regenerative capacity. We utilize molecular and cellular tools and mouse genetics to understand the role of hypoxia signaling and oxidative stress in cardiomyocyte cell cycle regulation throughout the life cycle of mammals.

Research Theme

  • Dynamic change in kinetics of postnatal cardiomyocyte renewal
  • Role of hypoxia signaling in cardiomyocyte renewal
  • Induction of myocardial regeneration by engineering oxidative metabolism

Selected Publications

Nishiyama C, Saito Y, Sakaguchi A, et al.
Prolonged Myocardial Regenerative Capacity in Neonatal Opossum.
Circulation 146(2), 125-139 (2022) doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.055269

Sakaguchi A, Kimura W.
Metabolic regulation of cardiac regeneration: roles of hypoxia, energy homeostasis, and mitochondrial dynamics
Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 70, 54-60 (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2021.05.009

Saito Y, Kimura W.
Roles of phase separation for cellular redox maintenance
Frontiers in Genetics 12, 691946 (2021) doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.691946

Sakaguchi A, Nishiyama C, Kimura W.
Cardiac Regeneration as an Environmental Adaptatio
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research 1867(4), 118623 (2020) doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.118623

Nakada Y, Canseco D C, Thet S, et al.
Hypoxia induces heart regeneration in adult mice.
Nature 541, 222-227 (2017) doi: 10.1038/nature20173

Kimura W, Xiao F, Canseco D C, et al.
Hypoxia fate mapping identifies cycling cardiomyocytes in the adult heart.
Nature 523, 226-230 (2015) doi: 10.1038/nature14582

Canseco D C, Kimura W, Garg S, et al.
Human ventricular unloading induces cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 65, 892-900 (2015) doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.12.027

Puente B N, Kimura W, Muralidhar S A, et al.
The oxygen rich postnatal environment induces cardiomyocyte cell cycle arrest through DNA damage response.
Cell 157, 565-579 (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.032


Wataru Kimura

Team Leader

Akane Sakaguchi

Research Scientist

Yuichi Saito

Special Postdoctoral Researcher

Nobutoshi Ota

Research Scientist

Chihiro Nishiyama

Technical Staff I

Tai Sada

Junior Research Associate

Mingxuan Ju

Student Trainee