Photo of Mayu  Inaba, M.D., Ph.D.

Mayu Inaba, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Academic Office Location:
Cell Biology
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-3049

Inaba Lab Page

Cell Biology Graduate Program

Genetics and Developmental Biology Graduate Program

Curriculum Vitae:
M.D.Ehime University School of MedicineMedicine
Ph.D.Graduate School of Kyushu UniversityPathological Medicine

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralUniversity of TokyoJSPS postdoctoral research fellow
PostdoctoralUniversity of MichiganHHMI Research Specialist I

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
R35 Outstanding Investigator Award, The National Institute of General Medical SciencesNIH, NIGMS
DeLill Nasser Travel Award for Professional Development in GeneticsGenetics Society of America
Travel Award for 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell BiologyAmerican Society for Cell Biology
Research Fellowship 2003 - 2006Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists


MEDS-6449-Foundations of Biomedical Science II (Cell cycle)

MEDS-6497-Graduate Seminar: Cell Biology Journal Club

MEDS-5418-Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology-SECF40-1208

MEDS-5369-Advanced Genetics and Molecular Biology-SECF40-1223

MEDS-5309-Molecular Basis of Disease

Our long term goal is to understand the regulatory mechanisms of asymmetric stem cell division.

Asymmetric stem cell division is a mechanism that balances stem cell self-renewal and differentiation through the production of one stem cell and one differentiating cell. It is a simple way of maintaining the stem cell population without increasing it and is thus thought to be a vital mechanism for tissue homeostasis and tumor suppression. My research goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanism how differently fated two daughter cells are made after only one cell division. My lab primarily uses Drosophila gonads in which we can monitor asymmetric division in vivo. Owning to the simple anatomy and abundant imaging tools, this system allow us to discover previously unrecognized regulatory mechanisms and thus contribute to develop a new therapeutic approach for cancers and degenerative diseases.

PhD students

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: The Drosophila germline stem cell system is an excellent model to monitor stem cell behavior while they are still located in the niche. We use a combination of approaches including CRISPR genome engineering, genetics, and quantitative and whole-mount live imaging to understand adult stem cell regulation. Results from our research are relevant to human physiology and diseases, as many of the molecules that control Drosophila stem cell system are conserved in humans.

  1. Understanding the flexibility of niche-stem cell interaction: Tissue stem cells are under dynamic state that is largely governed by their microenvironment, or the niche, which facilitates plasticity and adaptability of stem cells to changing conditions. The aim of 1st rotation project is to investigate dynamics of cell signaling and downstream pathway activation in Drosophila germline stem cells, while they are adapting to various physiological and pathological conditions, including dietary changes, abnormalities in nervous system, methabolic disorders and aging.

  2. Visualizing chromosome interaction and gene expression change in stem cell systems: Dysregulation in stem-cell gene transcriptional program leads to abberent tissue homeostasis, and then human diseases such as cancer. Growing number of evidences suggest that diversification of regulatory elements is a major source of phenotypic polymorphism among population. These DNA elements interact not only with transcription factors and other regulatory proteins, but also with other DNA elements. Our recent study identified that interhomolog interaction of stem cell gene locus is uniquely regulated and is essential for prompt downregulation of the transcript. While biological importance of interchromosomal interaction is becoming increasingly clear in recent years, very little is known about the mechanism in the control of gene expression. The 2nd rotation project is to establish the tools for monitoring homolog interaction and gene expression simutaniously, by using MS2/MCP, PP7/PCP based visualization and quantification of nascent transcripts.


Journal Articles

Book Chapters


  • Editorial.
    Inaba, Mayu*; Terasaki, Mark* Seminars in cell & developmental biology 2022 Sep;12961-62


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
ERATO International Symposium Kurumizaka Chromatin Atlas (Poster: Mayu Inaba)PosterERATO/Tokyo University2023Online
NIH/NICHD Seminar (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkNIH/NICHD2023Bethesda, Maryland
Frontiers in Biology, Stanford University (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkStanford University2023Palo Alto, San Francisco
Johns Hopkins University, Department of Biology Seminar Series (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkJHU2022Online
FASEB 2022, The TGF-ß Superfamily Conference: Signaling in Development and Disease (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkFASEB2022Malahide, Ireland
Developmental Biology Seminar Series, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkGurdon Institute, University of Cambridge2021Online
Queens College Biology Colloquium, Queens College, CUNY (Talk: Mayu Inaba)Talk Queens College, CUNY, NY2019NY, United States
The Fifth International Oocyte Meeting (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkThe Fifth International Oocyte Meeting2019Nice, France
2019 Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and Activation of Development (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkGordon Research Conference2019NH, United States
Cold Spring Harbor Meeting, Germ Cells, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkCold Spring Harbor Laboratory2018NY, United States
The 15th Stem Cell Research Symposium (Talk: Mayu Inaba)Talk2017Tokyo, Japan
Keio University, Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Talk: Mayu Inaba)Talk2017Tokyo, Japan
Northeast Society for Developmental Biology Regional Meeting at MBL (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkNortheast Society for Developmental Biology2017MA, United States
International Society for Stem Cell Research, Annual Meeting (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkISSCR2016San Francisco, CA, United States
56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, “Cell Biology & Signal Transduction” (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkGSA2015Chicago, IL, United States
Annual Meeting, The American Society for Cell Biology, “Positioning the Microtubule Organizing Center: A Matter of Life or Death?” (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkASCB2014Philadelphia, PA, United States
52nd Annual Meeting, The American Society for Cell Biology, Mini symposium, Cell Polarity (Talk: Mayu Inaba)TalkASCB2012San Francisco, CA, United States