A photo of Satoshi Namekawa.

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Biography & Affiliation


Dr. Namekawa received his PhD from Tokyo University of Science in 2005. He completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Jeannie T. Lee at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2009, and attained his faculty appointment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 2009. He received the Basil O’Connor Award from March of Dimes Foundation in 2011, the New Investigator Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 2015, and the Research Achievement Award from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2016.

Research Interests

The long-term goal of the Namekawa laboratory is to reveal and fully explain epigenetic mechanisms in germ cells and stem cells, with an emphasis on how germline identity is defined and the recovery of totipotency after fertilization—mechanisms that are ultimately responsible for the perpetuity of life. Specifically, the laboratory focuses on how the epigenome is preset, or poised, in stem cells for gene regulation in subsequent stages of differentiating germ cells, thereby ensuring stage-specific transcriptional regulation in the context of germ cell development and aging. Illumination of these mechanisms will explain the central identity of the germline and address how epigenetic information is transmitted across generations. Further, the laboratory aims to identify mechanisms by which the integrity of the germline is ensured, as this is key to understanding how the integrity of life is ensured, an essential and longstanding question in biology. Another area of focus is the epigenetic regulation of sex chromosomes in germ cell development, with an emphasis on how the sex chromosomes specifically function for reproduction.

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Reproductive Sciences, Developmental Biology


PhD: Tokyo University of Science, Japan, 2005.

BS: Tokyo University of Science, Japan, 2000.


Alavattam KG, Maezawa S, Sakashita A, Khoury H, Barski A, Kaplan N, Namekawa SH. Attenuated chromatin compartmentalization in meiosis and its maturation in sperm development. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2019 Mar;26(3):175-184.

Maezawa S, Hasegawa K, Yukawa M, Kubo N, Sakashita A, Alavattam KG, Sin HS, Kartashov AV, Sasaki H, Barski A, Namekawa SH. Polycomb protein SCML2 facilitates H3K27me3 to establish bivalent domains in the male germline. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 May 8;115(19):4957-4962.

Adams SR, Maezawa S, Alavattam KG, Abe H, Sakashita A, Shroder M, Broering TJ, Sroga Rios J, Thomas MA, Lin X, Price CM, Barski A, Andreassen PR, Namekawa SH. RNF8 and SCML2 cooperate to regulate ubiquitination and H3K27 acetylation for escape gene activation on the sex chromosomes. PLoS Genet. 2018 Feb 20;14(2):e1007233.

Maezawa S, Yukawa M, Alavattam KG, Barski A, Namekawa SH. Dynamic reorganization of open chromatin underlies diverse transcriptomes during spermatogenesis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jan 25;46(2):593-608.

Maezawa S, Hasegawa K, Yukawa M, Sakashita A, Alavattam KG, Andreassen PR, Vidal M, Koseki H, Barski A, Namekawa SH. Polycomb directs timely activation of germline genes in spermatogenesis. Genes Dev. 2017 Aug 15;31(16):1693-1703. 

Alavattam KG, Kato Y, Sin HS, Maezawa S, Kowalski IJ, Zhang F, Pang Q, Andreassen PR, Namekawa SH. Elucidation of the Fanconi Anemia Protein Network in Meiosis and Its Function in the Regulation of Histone Modifications. Cell Rep. 2016 Oct 18;17(4):1141-1157. 

Hasegawa K, Sin HS, Maezawa S, Broering TJ, Kartashov AV, Alavattam KG, Ichijima Y, Zhang F, Bacon WC, Greis KD, Andreassen PR, Barski A, Namekawa SH. SCML2 establishes the male germline epigenome through regulation of histone H2A ubiquitination. Dev Cell. 2015 Mar 9;32(5):574-88.

Sin HS, Barski A, Zhang F, Kartashov AV, Nussenzweig A, Chen J, Andreassen PR, Namekawa SH. RNF8 regulates active epigenetic modifications and escape gene activation from inactive sex chromosomes in postmeiotic spermatids. Genes Dev. 2012 Dec 15:26(24)2737-2748.

Sin HS, Ichijima Y, Koh E, Namiki M, Namekawa SH. Human post meiotic sex chromatin and its impact on sex chromosome evolution. Genome Res. 2012 May;22(5):827-36.

Ichijima, Y, Ichijima M, Lou Z, Nussenzweig A, Camerini-Otero RD, Chen J, Andreassen PR, Namekawa SH. MDC1 directs chromosome-wide silencing of the sex chromosomes in male germ cells. Genes Dev. 2011 May 1;25(9):959-71.