Member Spotlights


Yo Mabuchi, PhD

Apr 9, 2021

Hometown: Gifu, Japan
Current residence: Cambridge, UK / Tokyo, Japan
Graduate degree: PhD, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan
Current position: Visiting Researcher in the Department of Haematology at the University of Cambridge, UK; and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan

 What is the current focus of your research, and what do you find most rewarding about your work?

I study the cellular characteristics and identity of tissue stem cells in the body. At present, my major interest lies in studying the heterogeneity of mesenchymal cell subpopulations and their roles in living organisms.

 What led you to become a scientist and to stem cell research?

As an undergraduate student, I majored in tissue engineering, and my research focus was on artificial skin. The conundrum as to why lizards, but not humans, can regenerate feet led me to become a researcher. I want to gain an understanding of the potential of human stem cells, thereby revealing the mechanisms underlying refractory disease pathogenesis and developing treatments.

What is the most exciting aspect of your work?

The best part of being a researcher is the ability to publish my research and obtain valuable feedback from other researchers worldwide. Venture enterprises have also been established based on the technology developed in my study. This showed me the powerful influence of pure research in the real world.

What guidance would you share in talking with trainees interested in pursuing your area of research?

I would ask them if they were ready to apply themselves in the scientific field with sincerity. Furthermore, I would wish for them to have the utmost determination to pursue scientific research.

Do you have any mentors or individuals who have inspired you in your stem cell work?

My research is currently pursued under the guidance of Dr. Simon Mendez-Ferrer of Cambridge University, UK. His approach towards and perspectives on stem cell research and his personality have been major influences for the researcher I see myself becoming.

How do you spend your free time?

As a leisurely activity, I practice Kendo (the way of the sword) or take my children to a museum. Moreover, my morning routine involves taking a 20-minute walk without using any gadgets. Doing so helps me reset my mind slightly, thereby inculcating new ideas and improving my concentration at work.

What is something your peers would be surprised to learn about you? 

During elementary school, I memorised pi (π) up to 100 digits and remember all 100 digits to this date. As a child, I had difficulty learning the fact that the universe is endless. Although knowing pi up to 100 digits has never actually come in use until now, it helped me realise the concept of “infinity.”

What do you most value about your membership with the ISSCR?

My network of researchers has grown immensely. As an ISSCR committee member, planning and managing international meetings has been a uniquely enjoyable experience. Additionally, by engaging with the wonderful staff and members of the ISSCR, I gain new insights and learn to think more creatively.


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Careers in Industry

Career talks featured at ISSCR’s VISION2030 event, focused on opportunities for a decade ahead. 

BlueRock Therapeutics | Career Talks

Panel discussion with Timsi Rao, Scientist III, Genome Sciences and Stephany Sakharny, Senior Human Resources Manager of BlueRock Therapeutics.

STEMCELL Technologies | Career Talks

Panel discussion with Christine Genge, Manager, Recruitment and Nina Quiskamp, Scientist of STEMCELL Technologies.

ElevateBio | Career Talks

Panel discussion with Cherylene Plewa, PhD, VP, Cellular Engineering and Austin Thiel, PhD, Director Stem Cell Biology of ElevateBio.

ISSCR 2020 Virtual Videos

Junior Investigator Career Panel

Finding Your Fit: Defining Goals and Taking Action to Achieve Long-term

Moderator: Evan Graham, ISSCR Junior Investigators Committee, CELLINK
Panelists: Heather Duffy, Creative Innovation Consulting, Steve Kattman, Sana Biotechnology, Danijela Menicanin, University of Adelaide, and Itedale Namro Redwan, CELLINK.

Despite how it can sometimes appear, the path to a satisfying career is rarely straightforward. Are you currently asking yourself “How do I decide on a career path?” If so, join us for an in-depth panel discussion about how individual definitions for success and failure can help you identify your goals, adjust to setbacks, determine when it’s time to make a change, and what steps to take now to achieve your long-term goals. This casual event hosted by the Junior Investigator Committee is intended to foster frank conversation about how to assess career decisions early on.

Early Career Group Leader Panel

Re-Defining the Success of Your Lab in Changing Times: Productivity, Motivation and Enrichment

Moderator: Josh Currie, Co-chair, ISSCR Junior Investigators Committee, Wake Forest University
Panelists: Valentina Greco, Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale Medical School, Konrad Hochedlinger, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Joanna Wysocka, Stanford University.

Even prior to lab shutdowns, you might have often been awake at night feeling anxious about the success of your trainees and your projects. With bench research and much of science at a standstill, how can PIs regain perspective and purpose to re-define a thriving lab? This event is organized for early career PIs to learn tools and tips from more senior ISSCR scientists about how to get the most out of your lab. We will address topics such as setting up a strong lab culture from the beginning, enriching the lab experience to make your team the most productive, and recruiting the best people to improve motivation and promote strong research. Additionally, this event is meant to foster conversation about how to support, motivate, and train lab members under these exceptional circumstances. Come join us to learn, share, and discuss different recipes for a successful lab.