Tamura KOJI Tamura KOJI Tamura KOJI


Tamura KOJI

1.What kind of the research are you doing?

In our laboratory, we are researching what kinds of mechanisms are involved in the development of animal morphology. There are tremendously various shapes of extant/extinct animals on the earth, and the variation is basically produced during development. We are studying developmental mechanism by which animal morphology is produced, with using morphogenesis of vertebrate appendages as a model system. We further investigate mechanisms that provide variation of animal morphology.

In fact, the researchers who study with thinking such things are young people, including graduate students. Speaking of “what kind of work are you doing?”, my main work is to support those young people from various aspects. The contents of support are to think with them about scientific logic, aims, strategy, interpretation and discussion of their research.

2.What is the reason for starting your study?

Since I was a graduate student who started to study embryology, I was researching developmental process of digits, with thinking about the simple question "How is my hand morphology (such as the number of digits) determined?". When I saw “skate (a kind of cartilaginous fish)” embryos for the first time in 2000, I was really moved and thought "I will probably never abandon embryology.". This may be the reason why I have become interested in the diversity of animal morphology. It is incredible that their cloak-like fins are homologous to our arms (forelimbs), isn’t it?

3.Message for prospective students

It is sometimes said that biology is enumeration and not real science. But, I think this is just because the living things are too complicated, and we cannot see objectively because we ourselves are included in the objects. There cannot be no testable explanation with scientific logic and principles on the formation and behavior of living things that are made only of molecules. Don’t you think that it is so interesting to see "who I am and where I come from" with such a molecular view?