Meet the Team

Professor of Genetics (Stem Cell)


Hiro Nakauchi obtained a M.D. from Yokohama City University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in immunology from University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine. He isolated CD8 genes during his post-doc period at the Laboratory of Prof. Leonard Herzenberg at Stanford University. After returning to Japan, he started working on hematopoietic stem cells in his laboratory at RIKEN. In 1994, he became Professor of Immunology at the University of Tsukuba where he demonstrated that a single hematopoietic stem cell could reconstitute the entire hematopoietic system, a definitive experimental proof for the “stemness”. Since April 2002, he has been a Professor of Stem Cell Therapy in the Institute of Medical Science at The University of Tokyo (IMSUT). In 2008, he was appointed Director of newly established Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at IMSUT. In 2014, he returned to Stanford University as a faculty to continue his stem cell research at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Goals of his work are to translate discoveries in basic research into practical medical applications.
Instructor, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

I am Joy, pursuing my research as a postdoc mentored by Prof. Hiro Nakauchi. I completed my undergraduate in Genetic engineering from India, followed by MS and Ph.D. from Sweden. In my Ph.D., I focused on the molecular aspect of cancer biology to perturb genetic and epigenetic targets for translational research under the mentorship of Prof. Jonas Nilsson. Understanding cancer at the molecular level can help devise ways to prevent pluripotent stem cells from acquiring malignant traits, thus making them safer for the clinic. My long-term goal is to generate transplantation-ready whole human organs in research animals. To head towards our long-term goal, I am:

  1.  Defining conditions for capturing a "true state" of mammalian pluripotency: We discovered a single condition capable of maintaining pluripotency across species.
  2.  Identifying, defining, and overcoming developmental xeno- barrier: Using knowledge-based and unbiased genome-wide approaches, we aim to identify, define and finally overcome xeno-barriers.
  3.  Overcoming these barriers should enable a higher contribution from the injected xenogeneic donor cells for generating whole organs in research animals. Developing a damage-free ex vivo organ preservation method – Using nature-inspired processes, we aim to develop novel organ preservation solutions for improving transplantation outcomes.


Postdoctoral Scholar, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Toshiya Nishimura has expertise in veterinary science, stem cell biology, and developmental biology. He started his research career at Osaka Prefecture University, where he undertook PhD training with Professor Toshio Inaba. During this time, he focused on generation and differentiation of canine induced pluripotent stem cell. Following completion of his PhD in March 2017, he started his postdoctoral training with Professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi. He initially trained in the Nakauchi laboratory at the University of Tokyo, where he gained expertise in embryo engineering and in vivo genome editing. Since January 2018, he has been based in the Nakauchi laboratory at Stanford University, where he is focused on applying his knowledge and expertise to identify biological requirements for interspecific organogenesis.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Kouta Niizuma is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Prof. Hiromitsu Nakauchi’s laboratory at Stanford.  He completed his undergraduate in Biology and obtained PhD in Immunology at University of Tsukuba, Japan. In the course of his PhD study, he focused on cell surface receptors expressed on immune cells in Prof. Akira Shibuya’s laboratory. He identified and characterized a novel immunoglobulin-like receptor, CD300H expressed on myeloid cells, by using a monoclonal antibody he generated. Also during his PhD, Kouta studied at Prof. Lewis L Lanier’s laboratory at UCSF as a visiting scholar and focused on the response of Natural Killer cells to infection with cytomegalovirus. Since He joined in the  Nakauchi lab in May 2018, he has been focusing on developing new immunotherapies and hematopoietic stem cell biology.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Masashi Miyauchi is a physician-scientist and has expertise in the field of hematology and oncology. He obtained a M.D. in Kyoto University and started his residency and clinical fellowship followed by Ph.D. program in Department of Hematology and Oncology, the University of Tokyo Hospital. Though his Ph.D. training in the University of Tokyo, he established cancer stem cells model for drug discovery, which was based on patient-specific iPSCs, and finished pan-cancer professional training. After obtaining his Ph.D., he has been involved in clinical practices for hematological diseases and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a board-certified hematologist. He has also contributed to a trial for clinical sequencing-panel against pan-cancer and Professional Training Plan in Cancer Medicine as a cancer-profession. Besides, he underwent translational research in the field of regenerative medicine. Since July 2019, he joined in Nakauchi Lab and is especially involved in hematopoietic stem cell projects.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Ph.D. Student in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, admitted Autumn 2017

Growing up in Australia exposed me to a wide variety of wildlife. I knew from early on that I wanted to pursue a career in Biology. Moving to the United States at the end of High School, I attended Humboldt State for my Undergraduate Degree, where I studied the role of paternal effect genes in C. elegans development. At the end of my undergraduate career I was fortunate to have the opportunity to come to Stanford as part of the CIRM bridges program, where I worked on developing genome editing in hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of genetic diseases in the lab of Dr. Matthew Porteus. After two years in the Porteus lab, I joined Stanford’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine PhD program, which I hope will serve as a platform in my attempts to become sole ruler of planet earth.

Ph.D. Student in Genetics, admitted Autumn 2017
Ph.D. Student in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, admitted Autumn 2019

I was born and raised in the sunny island of Singapore. I graduated from The University of Edinburgh, UK with a BSc (1stClass Hons) in Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology. I completed my undergraduate thesis in Professor Ian Chambers lab where I studied the DNA-binding residues function of NANOG, the critical pluripotency factor, in the embryonic stem cell cytokine independent self-renewal. Outside the lab, I can be found haunting for Asian food cuisine around the Bay Area. I also enjoy hiking and biking to explore the sunny outdoors in California!

Current Projects: 
Applications of Highly multiplexed Technologies to study Hematopoietic Stem Cells at single-cell resolution; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Metabolomics

Ph.D. Student in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, admitted Autumn 2020
Paul Mack
CIRM Intern


I am originally from the Bay Area and obtained a B.S. in Neuroscience from UC Santa Cruz in 2019. During my time as an undergraduate student, I had numerous experiences as an EMT, most notably spending a summer in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka, where I worked in the emergency room of a local hospital. Since graduating, I have become fascinated with the therapeutic potential of stem cell research, specifically disease modeling using iPSC’s and HSC transplantation. I expect to graduate from the CIRM program in 2022, at which point I hope to pursue a PhD in Stem Cell Biology or a related discipline.

Life Science Rsch Prof 1, Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Med Institute

I grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 2021. I worked as an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Jin Young Huh in the Saltiel Lab, investigating the regulatory role of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) on Acyl-CoA Synthetase in controlling fatty acid oxidation in hepatocytes. In addition, I received the Ledell Family Research Scholarship to investigate the role of TBK1 in regulating obesity-induced liver inflammation. Aspiring to become a physician one day, I sought to conduct research in topics more directly related to human diseases and treatments. Thus, I joined the Nakauchi Lab, where I am learning about the therapeutic potential of stem cells and organogenesis. 

Undergraduate, Chemistry

Sonny Young joined the Nakauchi Lab in 2021. He is from the Bay Area and is currently a candidate for the Bachelor’s degree of Science in Chemistry. Previously, he worked as a research assistant in the Sano Lab at the University of California, San Francisco. He studied Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy and performed CRISPR knockouts to characterize and find a treatment for the diseases. During his free time, he enjoys tutoring organic chemistry and playing in the orchestra. In the Nakauchi Lab, he focuses on studying hematopoietic stem cells and organogenesis.

Shota Homma
Life Science Research Professional I/Administrative Associate 1/Lab Manager, Stem Cell Bio Regenerative Med Institute


Shota Homma joined the Nakauchi Lab at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in 2020. As an undergraduate, he worked in vitro system for establishing the drug delivery efficacy of new nanoparticle product and carried out experiments to enhance the understanding of the periodontitis at a genomic level at UCLA School of Dentistry. As a concert pianist, Shota studied with Professor Inna Faliks at UCLA, where he received B.A. Music (Piano Performance) and B.S. Psychobiology on a full scholarship. He has also participated in piano competitions and received numerous prizes including: 1st Place, Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) Piano Solo Competition Division III State Finals; 1st Place, Pacific Musical Society Piano Competition; 2nd Place, American Protege International Piano Competition; and 2nd Place, MTNA Southwest Division National Competition (as the representative of California). 


Current Projects:

Prime Editing