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, Tatsuo Shibata

Team Leader
Tatsuo Shibata Ph.D.

Laboratory for Physical Biology

LocationKobe / Developmental Biology Buildings


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We elucidate biological phenomena using physics and mathematics.

Advances in measurement technologies have afforded us glimpses into dynamic functional processes, such as morphogenesis and information processing, in cells and tissues involved in development and regeneration. The truly organic dynamism of the biological phenomena exhibited by living cells, individually or in groups, emerges from the coordinated interaction of numerous molecular and genetic factors, and the need for integrated, systems-based approaches to the study of design and operating principles in such “living” phenomena is becoming increasingly clear. This will require not only technologies for the measurement of such elements but the development of applicable mathematical methods as well. In Laboratory for Physical Biology, we will seek to use concepts and methodology from mathematical sciences such as physics in the study and elucidation of these emerging questions in biology.

Recruiting graduate students

Research Theme

  • Dynamics of information processes of chemotaxis
  • Dynamics of polarization
  • Dynamics of gene regulatory networks

Selected Publications

Tarama M, Shibata T.
Pattern formation and the mechanics of a motor-driven filamentous system confined by rigid membranes.
Physical Review Research 4, 043071 (2022) doi: 10.1103/PhysRevResearch.4.043071

Wen FL, Kwan CW, Wang YC, Shibata T.
Autonomous epithelial folding induced by an intracellular mechano–polarity feedback loop.
PLOS Computational Biology 17(12), e1009614 (2021) doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009614

Hayakawa M, Hiraiwa T, Wada Y, et al.
Polar pattern formation induced by contact following locomotion in a multicellular system.
eLife 9, e53609 (2020) doi: 10.7554/eLife.53609

Kono K, Yoshiura S, Fujita I, et al.
Reconstruction of Par-dependent polarity in apolar cells reveals a dynamic process of cortical polarization.
eLife 8, e45559 (2019) doi: 10.7554/eLife.45559.001

Sekine R, Shibata T, Ebisuya M.
Synthetic mammalian pattern formation driven by differential diffusivity of Nodal and Lefty.
Nature communications 9(1), 5456 (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07847-x

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

Wen FL, Wang YC, Shibata T.
Epithelial Folding Driven by Apical or Basal-Lateral Modulation: Geometric Features, Mechanical Inference, and Boundary Effects.
Biophysical journal 112(12), 2683-2695 (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.012

Sato K, Hiraiwa T, Maekawa E, et al.
Left–right asymmetric cell intercalation drives directional collective cell movement in epithelial morphogenesis.
Nature Communications 6, 10074 (2015) doi: 10.1038/ncomms10074

Sato K, Hiraiwa T, Shibata T.
Cell Chirality Induces Collective Cell Migration in Epithelial Sheets.
Physical Review Letters 115(18), 188102 (2015) doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.188102

Hiraiwa T, Nagamatsu A, Akuzawa N, et al.
Relevance of intracellular polarity to accuracy of eukaryotic chemotaxis.
Physical Biology 11(5), 056002 (2014) doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/11/5/056002

Nishikawa M, Horning M, Ueda M, Shibata T.
Excitable Signal Transduction Induces Both Spontaneous and Directional Cell Asymmetries in the Phosphatidylinositol Lipid Signaling System for Eukaryotic Chemotaxis.
Biophysical Journal 106(3), 723-734 (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.12.023

Shibata T, Nishikawa M, Matsuoka S, Ueda M.
Intracellular Encoding of Spatiotemporal Guidance Cues in a Self-Organizing Signaling System for Chemotaxis in Dictyostelium Cells.
Biophysical Journal 105(9), 2199-2209 (2013) doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.09.024

Inomata H, Shibata T, Haraguchi T, Sasai Y.
Scaling of Dorsal-Ventral Patterning by Embryo Size-Dependent Degradation of Spemann's Organizer Signals.
Cell 153(6), 1296-1311 (2013) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.004

Hiraiwa T, Baba A, Shibata T.
Theoretical model for cell migration with gradient sensing and shape deformation.
European Physical Journal E 36(4), 32 9 (2013) doi: 10.1140/epje/i2013-13032-1

Baba A, Hiraiwa T, Shibata T.
Directional sensing of deformed cells under faint gradients.
Physical Review E 86(6), 060901 5 (2012) doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.86.060901

Shibata T, Nishikawa M, Matsuoka S, Ueda M.
Modeling the self-organized phosphatidylinositol lipid signaling system in chemotactic cells using quantitative image analysis.
Journal of Cell Science 125(21), 5138-5150 (2012) doi: 10.1242/jcs.108373