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Nishiyama Jun

Assistant Professor


Contact: 65161906

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.


  1. Suratkal S.S., Yen Y.H., Nishiyama J.† : Imaging dendritic spines: molecular organization and signaling for plasticity. Curr Opin Neurobiol, Apr;67:66-74 (2021).
  2. Nishiyama, J.† Plasticity of Dendritic Spines: Molecular Function and Dysfunction in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Sep;73(9):541-550 (2019).
  3. Nishiyama, J.† Genome editing in the mammalian brain using the CRISPR-Cas system. Neurosci. Res., Apr;141 4-12 (2019).
  4. Nishiyama, J., Mikuni, T., Yasuda R. Virus-Mediated Genome Editing via Homology-Directed Repair in Mitotic and Postmitotic Cells in Mammalian Brain. Neuron 96, 755-768 (2017). Featured as Research Highlight. Nat Methods, 14(12) 1129(2017)
  5. Mikuni, T.*, Nishiyama, J.*,†, Sun Y., Kamasawa N., Yasuda, R.† High-Throughput, High-Resolution Mapping of Protein Localization in Mammalian Brain by In Vivo Genome Editing. Cell, 165 1803-17 (2016). † Corresponding author, * Co-first author.
    Selected as 'Best of Cell' collection in 2016 by Cell press (
    Featured as Research Highlight. Nat Rev Neurosci, 17(7) 399(2016)
  6. Nishiyama, J. and Yasuda, R. Biochemical Computation for Spine Structural Plasticity. Neuron, 87 63-75 (2015).
  7. Nishiyama, J ., Hayashi, Y., Nomura, T., Miura, E., Kakegawa, W. and Yuzaki, M. Selective and regulated gene expression in murine Purkinje cells by in utero electroporation. The European Journal of Neuroscience, 36 2867-2876 (2012).
  8. Nishiyama, J., Matsuda, K., Kakegawa, W., Yamada, N., Motohashi, J., Mizushima, N. and Yuzaki, M. Reevaluation of neurodegeneration in lurcher mice: constitutive ion fluxes cause cell death with, not by, autophagy. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30 2177-2187 (2010).