School of Medicine - Basic Medical SciencePathology I




Pathological diagnosis is based on the idea that changes in cellular and tissue morphology reflect their functional abnormalities. However, the precise molecular mechanisms for morphological changes remain to be solved. We focus on identifying genes for morphological dynamics in diseases to understand diseases and develop novel therapies. For this goal, we utilize fluorescent proteins and biosensors based on the principle of Förster resonance energy transfer in living cells and animals. We hypothesize that cell clusters at the invasive front of cancer tissues are responsible for invasion/metastasis. To prove this, we are performing the following experiments; 1) Establishment of an in vitro model with cultured cells for poorly differentiated clusters or tumor budding, and analyzing the protein expression/function in such cell clusters, 2) Two-photon microscopy imaging of colon cancer behavior in the liver, and 3) Imaging of glands isolated from surgical colon cancer materials.

Contact Information

TEL: 076-218-8117 / FAX: 076-286-6926 / Email:


Professor and Chair

  • KIYOKAWA Etsuko Kiyokawa

Assistant Professor

  • FUJIOKA Masaki

Research Assistant

  • NAKAYAMA Asami
  • MIZUOCHI Hiroko

Research Achievements

Research Activities

  • Aikawa A., Fujita H., Kosaka T., Minato H., Kiyokawa E*.: Clinicopathological significance of heterogeneic ezrin expression in poorly differentiated clusters of colorectal cancers. Can Sci.: in press.
  • Hirata E., Kiyokawa E.: ERK activity imaging during migration of living cells in vitro and in vivo. Int J Mol Sci, 20(3): E679, 2019 [Review]
  • Hirata E., Ichikawa T.,(Co-fast authors) Horike S., Kiyokawa E.: Active K-RAS induces the coherent rotation of epithelial cells: A model for collective cell invasion in vitro. Can Sci.: 109(12), 4045-4055, 2018.
  • Takeda H., Kiyokawa E.:Activation of Erk in ileal epithelial cells engaged in ischemic-injury repair. Sci Rep, 7(1):16469, 2017
  • *Xu X., *Yoshizaki H.,(*First co-authors) Ishigaki Y., Kubo E., Minato H., Kiyokawa E.: Upregulation of multiple signaling pathways by Dock5 deletion in epithelial cells. Mol Vis.: 23: 1081-1092, 2017

External Research Funding

  • Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) <KAKENHI Kiban C> (Kiyokawa) 2017-19 Metabolism and lymphatic invasion of the cell clusters at the colon cancer invasive front
  • Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research (Kiyokawa) 2016 Fetal microchimerism and cancer
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a proposed research area) (Kiyokawa9
    2014-15 Rotation of the glands in vessels and invasion/metastasis.
    2012-13 Establishment of organoid culture and fluorescent imaging system to model cancer invasion.