Yukiko Yamashita

Our Research

Adult stem cells continuously supply highly differentiated cells throughout life. The daughters of stem cell division have two possible fates: stem cell self-renewal or differentiation. A balance between these cell populations is critical, as an excess of stem cell self-renewal can lead to tumorgenesis, whereas an excess of differentiation can deplete the stem cell pool.

Our lab seeks to understand the mechanisms that regulate asymmetric stem cell division, as they are poorly understood.

About Yukiko Yamashita

  • Stem cells
  • Developmental biology
  • Cell division and differentiation

Yukiko Yamashita uses Drosophila as a model system to investigate a fundamental question: When stem cells divide, what determines which daughter cell will remain a stem cell and which will differentiate into another tissue type?

Highlight: Asymmetric stem cell division

Yukiko Yamashita's lab found the first direct evidence that cells can distinguish between seemingly identical copies of chromosomes during asymmetric stem cell division, pointing to the possibility that distinct information on the chromosome copies might underlie the diversification of cell types.

The work was published May 5, 2013, in Nature.

Recent Publications

Inaba M, Venkei ZG, Yamashita YM. (2015) The polarity protein Baz forms a platform for the centrosome orientation during asymmetric stem cell division in the Drosophila male germline. Elife.

Venkei ZG, Yamashita YM. (2015) The centrosome orientation checkpoint is germline stem cell specific and operates prior to the spindle assembly checkpoint in Drosophila testis. Development.

Yadlapalli S, Yamashita YM. (2013). Chromosome-specific nonrandom sister chromatid segregation during stem-cell division. Nature.