A photo of Takanori Takebe.

Director for Commercial Innovation, Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Research and Medicine (CuSTOM)

Assistant Professor, UC Department of PediatricsProfessor, Institute of Research, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan



"I’m focused on developing an 'in-a-dish' engineering strategy for directing complex hepatogenesis from human stem cells."

My Biography & Research


In 2010, I spent time as a surgical intern at one of the world’s leading liver transplant centers. There, I met many patients with life-threatening illnesses who were unlikely to live long enough to receive lifesaving donor organs.

This experience motivated me to find alternative approaches to traditional transplantation. Specifically, I’m focused on developing an “in-a-dish” engineering strategy for directing complex hepatogenesis from human stem cells.

Living systems have an amazing power to develop. Our work aims to “nudge” nature's ability to grow into organs. My ultimate goal is to save children in need of a new liver through the development of organoids — stem-cell-derived miniature organs. Organoid technology allows for the study of drug development and transplant applications otherwise impossible.

My team and I have been successful in designing complex miniature organs in a dish from pluripotent stem cells, for example, by integration of vascular, mesenchymal and immune components into human liver organoids. Most notably, while studying early liver development, we engineered human stem cells into multi-organs composed of hepato-biliary-pancreatic tissue with interconnected structures.

For my work, I have been honored with the Japan Academy Medal and the Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Award from The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

At Cincinnati Children’s, I serve as director for commercial innovation within the Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Research and Medicine (CuSTOM). I am also on the faculty within the Institute of Research at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan.

I serve on the board of directors for the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and the editorial boards for Stem Cell Reports, Hepatology and Cell Reports Medicine.

I greatly enjoy the work I do and invite anyone who’s interested to follow along virtually with our activities.

Clinical Interests

Hepatology; transplantation

Research Interests

Organoid; organogenesis; stem cell biology; transplantation; drug development

Visit the Takebe Research Lab.

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of PediatricsProfessor, Institute of Research, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan

Clinical Divisions

Gastroenterology GI

Research Divisions

Gastroenterology, Developmental Biology

My Education

MD: Yokohama City University, Japan, 2011.

My Publications

Single cell transcriptomics identifies a signaling network coordinating endoderm and mesoderm diversification during foregut organogenesis. Han, L; Chaturvedi, P; Kishimoto, K; Koike, H; Nasr, T; Iwasawa, K; Giesbrecht, K; Witcher, PC; Eicher, A; Haines, L; et al. Nature Communications. 2020; 11.

Generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived liver buds with chemically defined and animal origin-free media. Sekine, K; Ogawa, S; Tsuzuki, S; Ikeda, K; Nakanishi, N; Takeuchi, K; Kanai, E; Otake, Y; Okamoto, S; Kobayashi, T; et al. Scientific Reports. 2020; 10.

Polygenic architecture informs potential vulnerability to drug-induced liver injury. Koido, M; Kawakami, E; Fukumura, J; Noguchi, Y; Ohori, M; Nio, Y; Nicoletti, P; Aithal, GP; Daly, AK; Watkins, PB; et al. Nature Medicine. 2020; 26:1541-1548.

Orthotopic foetal lung tissue direct injection into lung showed a preventive effect against paraquat-induced acute lung injury in mice. Okabe, R; Chen-Yoshikawa, TF; Yoshizawa, A; Hirashima, T; Saito, M; Date, H; Takebe, T. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. 2020; 58:638-645.

Stiffness distribution analysis in indentation depth direction reveals clear mechanical features of cells and organoids by using AFM. Kobayashi, N; Togo, S; Matsuzaki, T; Hashiseko, K; Kawamura, R; Suganuma, M; Nakabayashi, S; Yoneyama, Y; Ouchi, R; Takebe, T; et al. Applied Physics Express. 2020; 13:097001-097001.

Organoid Medicine in Hepatology. Sakabe, K; Takebe, T; Asai, A. Clinical Liver Disease. 2020; 15:3-8.

Generation of multi-cellular human liver organoids from pluripotent stem cells. Thompson, WL; Takebe, T. Methods in Cell Biology. : Elsevier; Elsevier; 2020.

Waiting time analysis at university hospitals based on visitor psychology. Iizuka, S; Nishii, S; Tanimoto, E; Nakazawa, H; Kodaka, A; Takebe, T. (2020) Springer International Publishing. 12184 LNCS:212-221.

De Novo-Designed Near-Infrared Nanoaggregates for Super-Resolution Monitoring of Lysosomes in Cells, in Whole Organoids, and in Vivo. Fang, H; Yao, S; Chen, Q; Liu, C; Cai, Y; Geng, S; Bai, Y; Tian, Z; Zacharias, AL; Takebe, T; et al. ACS Nano. 2019; 13:14426-14436.

The β-catenin/YAP signaling axis is a key regulator of melanoma-associated fibroblasts. Liu, T; Zhou, L; Yang, K; Iwasawa, K; Kadekaro, AL; Takebe, T; Andl, T; Zhang, Y. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. 2019; 4.