Welcome to the Sada Lab!​


Laboratory of Skin Regeneration and Aging

IRCMS, Kumamoto University, Japan


Stem cells maintain tissue integrity during homeostasis and show remarkable plasticity to respond to various stress or damages of the tissue. Dysfunction or misregulation of stem cells leads to tissue dysfunction, including impaired wound healing, cancer, and aging. Emerging evidence suggests heterogeneous stem cell populations within adult tissues and their specific roles in physiological and pathological conditions. Our research focuses on elucidating the cellular dynamics and regulatory mechanisms of tissue-resident stem cells, especially using mouse epithelial tissues (skin, eyes, oral) as a model. We identified new stem cell populations in the mouse skin epidermis (Sada et al., Nat Cell Biol 2016) and established the genetic tools and molecular markers to analyze these cells in vivo. We are currently studying stem cells in tissue regeneration and aging by combining cell & molecular biology techniques, genetic engineering of mice, omics analysis, bioengineering, glycobiology, and so on. Our research goal is to reveal the drivers and effectors of stem cell dysfunction. Targeting these factors may prevent or cure diseases at the stem cell level, with implications for applications in regenerative therapy and future treatments of cancer, aging, and other disorders.

Sada lab seeks motivated students (master and Ph.D. level), postdocs, and collaborators worldwide. Particulaly, our university has a priority slot for MEXT application for studying aging as a PhD student. We also have fellowship and internship program to do research at IRCMS. If you're interested in pursuing research with us, please do not hesitate to contact me.


International Research Center for Medical Sciences (IRCMS) at Kumamoto University is a a cutting edge, research institute, especially focusing on stem cells, aging and cancer. Researchers in our institute enjoy Science and closely communicate with each other in a characteristic open lab system of our institute. 

IRCMS website



Kumamoto University is located in the south part of Japan (Kyushu area) and is close to the city center with traditional Japanese castle, convenient living places, shopping mall and nice foods & drinks! Kumamoto also has beautiful nature within 1 hour drive distance, where you can enjoy Aso mountains, hot springs, fishing and many other outdoor activities. 

Life in Kumamoto





“New Frontiers in Developmental Biology – Celebrating the Diversity of Life”, 3rd Franco-Japanese Developmental Biology Meeting, was held in Strasbourg, Nov 7-10. Aiko gave a talk and chaired a Session2: Regeneration & stem cells, aging, senescence. We have much to learn from France's culture of respect for the history of science, high-quality talks and active discussions, and outreach activities. The video mapping on the theme of embryology was truly a wonderful and creative fusion of science and art.



We are pleased to share that our paper has finally been published. We characterized the aging process of epidermal stem cell populations and the role of the extracellular matrix fibulin-7.

Thank you Erna, Gopu, and Lal for their hard work, and Hiromi for her continued support!

Raja E, Changarathil G, Oinam L, Tsunezumi J, Ngo YX, Ishii R, Sasaki T, Imanaka-Yoshida K, Yanagisawa H*, Sada A*: The extracellular matrix fibulin 7 maintains epidermal stem cell heterogeneity during skin aging. EMBO Rep. e55478, 2022. 




MEXT students Manh and Trisha joined our lab in October. Welcome to Kumamoto!



Farewell to Yen, who worked in the lab for a long time as a PhD student and postdoc.  It is my great pleasure to see how much she has grown since she first came to our lab. From August, she will be working on a tissue engineering project as a postdoc at RIKEN. Thank you very much Yen for all your hard work over the years. We look forward to seeing your future endeavors. We will miss you.



Dr. Katja Schenke Layland from NMI, University of Tubingen, Germany visited Kumamoto and gave a talk for Joint Invited Speaker Seminar Series for Future Medicine. It was a very exciting talk and an active discussion. Thank you Katija for your wonderful work and thank you to everyone who participated online and at the venue.


During her stay, Katja and our lab members had good discussions and went on a lab trip to Suizenji Garden with Yukata as an excursion. Dr. Kaori Sugiyama from Waseda University visited Kumamoto and enjoyed discussions together.



Erna, a postdoctoral fellow, has appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Tsukuba. Congratulations!