The long-term goal of the Iwafuchi lab is to reveal gene and chromatin regulatory principles underlying dramatic cell fate changing events that occur in embryonic development, tissue repair (physiological reprogramming), and diseases, and ultimately to utilize this knowledge to precisely engineer cell fates.  

Although more than 200 transcription factors are expressed in each cell, only a small number of transcription factors are necessary to elicit dramatic cell fate changes. Within these key transcription factors, a subset called “pioneer factors” have a remarkable ability to change chromatin landscape, thereby imparting a competence for cell-type-specific gene expression.  

We focus on deciphering the chromatin-level regulation in cell fate changes and understanding how different families of pioneer factors impact such regulation. We are building a team to tackle these questions, combining developmental biology and human stem cells and organoid culture systems with genetics and genomics/bioinformatics.

Training in the Lab

The Iwafuchi Lab provides training for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.  If you are interested in joining the lab, please send your CV including the names of 3 references, along with a brief statement of your research interests to Maki (  We look forward to hearing from you!