Dr Nishiyama is an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders programme at Duke-NUS Medical School. His research focuses on the molecular regulation of neuronal connections or synapses and its disruption in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, he is interested in determining how molecular signalling regulates the structure and function of individual synapses, and how altered signalling in synapses can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders. To address these questions, he develops novel imaging tools to probe synaptic function based on cutting-edge molecular/genome editing/optical techniques.
He pioneered CRISPR/Cas9-mediated in vivo genome editing in the brain, which was published in the high impact journals Cell in 2016 and Neuron in 2017. He received the Japan Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award in 2018. He was trained as a physician-scientist in psychiatry at the University of Tokyo, where he received his MD and PhD degrees.
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 develop novel imaging tools to probe synaptic function based on cutting-edge molecular/optical techniques such as CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing and two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging. I will combine these tools with two-photon microscopy, two-photon uncaging, and molecular, cellular and mouse genetic approaches.
- 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)
- 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 (http://info.cell.com/best-of-cell-2016)
Featured as Research Highlight. Nat Rev Neurosci, 17(7) 399(2016)
- Nishiyama, J. and Yasuda, R. Biochemical Computation for Spine Structural Plasticity. Neuron, 87 63-75 (2015).
- 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).
- 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).