Dr Nishiyama is an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders programme at Duke-NUS Medical School. His research focuses on understanding the molecular regulation of synapses and their disruption in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
He obtained MD and PhD from the University of Tokyo, completed his residency in psychiatry, and performed his postdoctoral studies at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. He pioneered CRISPR/Cas9-mediated in vivo genome editing in the brain (Cell in 2016, Neuron in 2017) and received many awards including the prestigious Japan Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award in 2018 and Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) fellowship in 2020.
Our brain functions depend on proper connections between billions of neurons. These connections or synapses are disrupted in many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. The goal of our laboratory is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders at the level of synapses. Specifically, we are interested in determining how molecular signaling regulates the structure and function of individual synapses and how altered signaling in synapses can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders. To address these questions, we are developing novel imaging tools to probe synaptic functions with high spatiotemporal resolutions using cutting-edge molecular/genome editing/optical techniques. We combine these tools with two-photon imaging and uncaging, and molecular, biochemical, and mouse genetic approaches.