Yousuke Takahama, Ph.D.

Yousuke Takahama, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator

The current interest of our laboratory is to understand molecular mechanisms (1) that build functionally competent thymus microenvironments, which are capable of supporting the production and selection of T cells, (2) that govern thymic selection to establish a functionally competent repertoire of mature T cells, and (3) that position developing T cells to localize within the thymus microenvironments for T cell repertoire formation.

Areas of Expertise

1) thymus biology, 2) thymic epithelial cells, 3) thymus development, 4) T cell development, 5) T cell repertoire selection, 6) T cell self-tolerance

Contact Info

Yousuke Takahama, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 4B10
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-858-3223

The questions we would like to address in the next few years include how cortical and medullary microenvironments in the thymus positively and negatively select functionally potent and self-tolerant T cell repertoire. We would also like to study the mechanisms involved in how diverse microenvironments are formed in the thymus to shape T cell repertoire and how multiple thymic microenvironments sequentially guide to position developing T cells for their repertoire formation. 

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Developmental Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Ohigashi I, Tanaka Y, Kondo K, Fujimori S, Kondo H, Palin AC, Hoffmann V, Kozai M, Matsushita Y, Uda S, Motosugi R, Hamazaki J, Kubota H, Murata S, Tanaka K, Katagiri T, Kosako H, Takahama Y.
    Cell Reports. 29: 2901-2916, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Khanom US, Ohigashi I, Fujimori S, Kondo K, Takada K, Takahama Y.
    J Immunol. 203: 881-887, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Sakata M, Ohigashi I, Takahama Y.
    J Immunol. 200: 1382-1388 , 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Kozai M, Kubo Y, Katakai T, Kondo H, Kiyonari H, Schaeuble K, Luther SA, Ishimaru N, Ohigashi I, Takahama Y.
    J Exp Med. 214: 1925-1935, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Uddin MM, Ohigashi I, Motosugi R, Nakayama T, Sakata M, Hamazaki J, Nishito Y, Rode I, Tanaka K, Takemoto T, Murata S, and Takahama Y.
    Nat Commun. 8: 14419, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Yousuke Takahama received his Ph.D. from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. He was a Visiting Fellow and Visiting Associate in the Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, where he studied thymocyte development and selection. He then started working on the biology of thymic microenvironments at Syntex Institute of Immunology and the University of Tsukuba in Japan. In 1999, he was appointed a Professor of Experimental Immunology, University of Tokushima. In 2018, he moved back to the United States to establish a new laboratory as a Senior Investigator in Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute. He is a founding organizer of the Global Thymus Network. His main interests are the development and function of the thymus and thymic epithelial cells, especially with regard to the repertoire selection of T lymphocytes.

Name Position
Alison Jacques M.S. Biologist
Melina Frantzeskakis B.S. Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Amy Palin Ph.D. Biologist (Contr.)
Yu Tanaka M.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Aya Ushio Ph.D., D.D.S. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Xuan Xie Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)