Toshikuni SASAOKA


Assist. Prof.
Kanako ODA

Research Focus

Dopamine is thought to play an important role in motor control, memory, learning and motivation. We focus on motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) which is one of the important neurological diseases, and as a PD model animal, develop a genetically engineered mouse for dopamine receptors and related molecules that convey dopamine information. By analysis of animal behavior regarding learning and memory and analysis of the function of neural circuit, we aim to clarify mechanism of motor control, learning and memory, and develop therapeutic method for PD. At the same time, we are conducting research into the search and analysis of RNA-binding proteins that are responsible for development and maintenance of neural circuit as well as function of neural circuit. Recently, we are focusing on development of an innovative embryo manipulating system for the generation of genetically modified marmosets in collaboration with Dept. of Animal Model Develoment.
Simultaneously, we are in charge of administration and management of core facility for animal experiments in Niigata University with mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, pigs, Japanese monkeys, marmosets, medaka etc as experimental animals to promote advanced animal experiments. In addition to setting up the experimental environment, we support research using developmental and reproductive engineering technologies such as in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, cryopreservation of embryos and spermatozoa. In addition, we are rapidly advancing the creation of genetically modified animals by incorporating rapidly progressing genome editing technology. Using these experimental techniques, we maintain the animal experiment environment in the Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) environment, and also contribute to the implementation of efficient research through planned animal production.