Masanori Sakaguchi

Affiliation:International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine, University of Tsukuba

Research Title


Mechanisms of sleep and memory, and their disease models

01 Research Summary

We have three major research focuses:
1. Function of sleep in memory and its relation to pathology
2. Roles of adult-born neurons in memory consolidation during sleep
3. Dynamic change of consciousness and its mechanisms

Sakaguchi laboratory

Sakaguchi laboratory

02 Major achievements

03 Educational/Academic background

1995Apr – 2001Mar Medical school, Univ. Tsukuba
2001Apr – 2005Mar Student, Dept. Physio., Sch. Med., Keio Univ.
PhD candidate, Univ. Tsukuba
2005Apr – 2007Mar Assistant Prof., Dept. Physio., Sch. Med., Keio Univ.
2007Apr – 2009Mar Postdoc, Hospital for Sick Children, Univ. Toronto, Canada
2009Apr – 2010Sep PD for overseas research, JSPS
2010Oct – 2011Mar Postdoc, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN
2011Apr – 2013Jan Special Postdoc Fellow(SPD), RIKEN
2013Apr - 2018Oct Associate Prof. of International Institute for Integrative Sleep medicine, University of Tsukuba (Co-PI)
2018Oct - Associate Prof. of International Institute for Integrative Sleep medicine, University of Tsukuba (PI)
2018Oct - Associate Prof. of Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba (tenure)


Why did you become a scientist?

To develop new therapeutic methods

I came to know that there are many patients with untreatable diseases, particularly in neurology, while I was in medical school. But through my research experiences in Dr. Hideyuki Okano’s (currently in Keio Univ.) and Dr. Hiromitsu Nakauchi’s (currently in Stanford) labs, I received inspirations on how researchers can contribute to the progress of medicine. In addition, I started to think that I might be able to contribute to medicine through my own research after hearing the successful stories of Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa (currently the director of this institute) and Dr. Takeshi Sakurai (currently the vice director of this institute). Although we are still halfway on reaching our goals, we are enjoying the experience of making new scientific findings with our own hands.

What are the characteristics of your lab?


We incorporate research techniques from various fields outside our own specialties, such as informatics, next-gen sequencing, and analytical methods for non-human primates. Our lab holds many foreign staffs and interns from all over the world. Many collaborative projects are on-going with Oxford Univ., Edinburgh Univ., and Columbia Univ., to name a few. We put special efforts in creating an environment without rank in the lab. As a result, two undergraduate students have recently succeeded in publishing a paper in an international journal (Fujinaka et al). The backgrounds of the members are of many different fields outside biology, including engineering, informatics, and gymnastics. They fully utilize their skills for their research progresses.

What are you most interested in lately


I enjoy experiencing wide ranges of nature and culture created by living things. My personal recommendations are:
1. Kruger National Park, South Africa
You can observe wild animals living in nature, including rare species, such as cheetah, in vast landscape with minimum interference.
2. Cappadocia, Turkey
You can experience living underground like ants. There is also a metropolis beneath Istanbul, which is also my favorite place.
3. Nature of Canada
There are innumerable breathtaking beauty in the nature of Canada, Banff national part (Alberta), Emerald lake (BC), and aurora in Yellowknife, to name a few.