Tsuyoshi Miyakawa

Tsuyoshi Miyakawa is a Professor and the Director of Division of Systems Medical Science at Fujita Health University. He is also the Group Leader of Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Unit, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine and an Adjunctive Professor and the director of Section of Rodent Behavior Analysis at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences. He received his B.A, M.A, and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology, in 1993, 1995 and 1997, respectively, at the University of Tokyo (Advisor: Hiroaki Niki). After being a Research Scientist at Niki’s lab at Riken Brain Science Institute, he moved to the US in 1998 and received postdoctoral training from Jacqueline Crawley in Section on Behavioral Neuropharmacology at National Institute of Mental Health. In 1999, he became a Research Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. He then moved to Picower Center for Learning and Memory, directed by Susumu Tonegawa, at MIT in 2001 and was a Research Scientist and the supervisor of behavior core facility there.

He has been investigating the relationships between genes, brain and behavior by utilizing a “comprehensive behavioral test battery” on genetically engineered mice since 1993. At MIT, he found that forebrain specific calcineurin knockout mice show multiple abnormal behaviors related to schizophrenia with the strategy and that a calcineurin gene, PPP3CC, is associated with schizophrenia susceptibility in human. This made him believe that a systematic investigation of the behaviors of mutant mice is useful in understanding the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. Since coming back to Japan in 2003, Miyakawa and his colleagues have assessed more than 70 different strains of mutant mice and they are trying to find what is happening in the brains of the mice models of psychiatric disorders. He is directing a bioinformatics project, involving more than 15 institutions in Japan, of Japan Science and Technology Agency for developing a “Mouse Behavioral Phenotype Database.”