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One of the significant achievements of recent transcriptome research is elucidating the importance of "non-coding genomic regions" that do not encode proteins. In diverse eukaryotes, non-coding genomic regions occupy huge portions of the genome. They include non-coding RNAs that do not code for proteins but perform various functions as RNAs and transposons that have the property of transposing or jumping around the genome. We aim to understand diseases, including developmental disorders, from new perspectives by clarifying and regulating the functional mechanisms of non-coding genomic regions.

Seeking for the functions of non-coding genomic regions
  1. Functional roles of transposons
    What are the functional roles of transposons, which make up a vast proportion of the genomes of higher eukaryotes? What are the effects of transposons on chromatin state, gene expression, phenotype, and disease?
  2. Regulatory mechanisms of transposons
    Transposons have both "negative" aspects that induce genome destabilization and "positive" aspects that promote evolution and biological diversity. How is the expression of these transposons regulated?
  3. Biogenesis and functions of non-coding RNA
    How are non-coding RNAs processed and what are their functional roles? By understanding the functional mechanisms of non-coding RNAs, can we develop new epigenetic modification tools?

The relevant research fields and areas include:



Click here for the full list of publications.

Selected publications:
# co-first author; * corresponding author

Iwasaki Lab Member Photo
April 2024
Yuka W. Iwasaki [webpage]
Team leader
Sefan Asamitsu
Research Scientist
Shota Azuma
Junior Research Associate (Univ of Tokyo)
Yoshifumi Fujioka
Postdoctoral Researcher
Yuki Kojima
Research Trainee (Univ of Tokyo)
Naoko Kuroki
Aoi Shibuya
Technical Staff
Chikara Takeuchi
Guest Researcher (UT Southwestern)
Hiromi Yamada
Postdoctoral Researcher


We are looking for highly motivated individuals to pursue academic research and possess a flexible and creative mindset, as well as a willingness to collaborate with other members of our laboratory.

For graduate students:

Graduate students can be accepted into our laboratory through a collaborative research contract. RIKEN provides graduate education fellowships, that support PhD students. Refer to International Program Associate website for detalis. If you are interested in joining our lab, please examine our publication list and contact us via e-mail.

For postdoctoral researchers:

If you are interested in pursuing the research goals described above in our laboratory, please examine our publication list and contact us via e-mail. Information on our postdoctoral position availability may be posted in RIKEN website (please make a search with the term "functional non-coding genomics"). In addition, we may help you obtain fellowships such as RIKEN Special Postdoctoral Researchers Program and Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Opportunities image

RIKEN Yokohama

Laboratory for Functional Non-coding Genomics
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan
[RIKEN website]

Access to RIKEN Yokohama
Campus map of RIKEN Yokohama
Google Maps (RIKEN Yokohama)

e-mail address:
yiwasakiriken.jp(Yuka W. Iwasaki)