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Takanari Inoue, Ph.D.

Takanari Inoue, Ph.D.

Headshot of Takanari Inoue
  • Professor of Cell Biology

Research Interests

Synthetic cell biology


Dr. Takanari Inoue is an associate professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on synthetic cell biology to dissect and reconstitute intricate signaling networks.

The Inoue Lab studies the positive-feedback mechanisms underlying neutrophil chemotaxis, as well as spatio-temporal information processing. His team also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical functions.

Dr. Inoue received both his undergraduate degree in arts and sciences and his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science from the University of Tokyo. He completed postdoctoral training in chemical and systems biology at Stanford University. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2008.

He is a member of the Japanese Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences and the American Society for Cell Biology.

Dr. Inoue has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and holds a patent for “IP3 Receptor Ligands.” more


  • Professor of Cell Biology
  • Professor of Biological Chemistry
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.S.; University of Tokyo (Japan) (1998)
  • Ph.D.; University of Tokyo (Japan) (2003)

Additional Training

  • Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 2008, Chemical and Systems Biology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Inoue and his lab have developed a series of chemical-molecular tools that allow for inducible, quick-onset and specific perturbation of various signaling molecules. Using this novel technique in conjunction with fluorescence imaging, microfabricated devices, quantitative analysis and computational modeling, the Inoue Lab is dissecting intricate signaling networks. They investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as a symmetry breaking process), as well as spatio-temporally compartmentalized Ras signaling. In parallel, the lab also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical functions in cells. Ultimately, the team’s research seeks to generate completely orthogonal nano-machinery in cells that can achieve existing, as well as novel, cellular functions.


Synthetic cell biology: total synthesis of cellular functions such as neutrophil chemotaxis and ciliary mechano-sensation

Our research focuses on "synthetic cell biology" to dissect and reconstitute intricate signaling networks. In particular, we investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as a symmetry breaking process), as well as spatio-temporally dynamic information processing at various compartments in living cells. In parallel, our lab also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical functions. Ultimately, we will generate completely orthogonal nano-machinery in artificial cells that can achieve existing, and even novel, cellular functions.

Our research is conducted in an open lab style building that embodies a multidisciplinary research approach. Students who are enthusiastic about learning diverse disciplines, developing innovative techniques and challenging fundamental biological problems would enjoy the environment. Students are always welcomed to our lab for discussions about potential research projects.

Lab Website: Inoue Lab

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Kobayashi T., Kim S., Lin Y.C., Inoue T., and Dynlacht B.D. “CP110-interacting proteins, Talpid3 and Cep290, play overlapping and distinct roles in cilia assembly.” Journal of Cell Biology 204, 215. 2014

Su S., Phua S.C., DeRose R., Chiba S., Narita K., Kalugin P.N., Katada T., Kontani K., Takeda S. and Inoue T. “Genetically encoded calcium indicator illuminates calcium dynamics in cilia.” Nature Methods 10, 1105. 2013

Thevathasan, J.V., Tan E., Hui Z., Lin Y.C., Li Y., Inoue T. and Fivaz M. “The small GTPase HRas shapes local PI3K signals through positive feedback and regulates persistent membrane extension in migrating fibroblasts.” Molecular Biology of the Cell 24, 2228. 2013

Lin Y.C., Niewiadomski P., Lin B., Nakamura H., Phua S.C., Jiao J., Levchenko A., Inoue T., Rohatgi T., and Inoue T. “Chemically-inducible diffusion trap reveals molecular sieve-like barrier at primary cilia“ Nature Chemical Biology 9, 437. 2013

Lin YC, Liu T-Y, Razavi S. and Inoue T. “Rapidly Reversible Manipulation of Molecular Activities Using Dual Chemical Dimerizers” Angewandte Chemie 52, 6450. 2013

Contact for Research Inquiries

855 N. Wolfe Street
Rangos Building
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 443-287-7668

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Biological Chemistry

Biomedical Engineering

Activities & Honors


  • The Young Scientists' Prize, Commendation for Science and Technology by the Ministry of Education Science Sports and Culture, 2014
  • PRESTO Investigator, Japanese Science and Technology, 2013
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Quantitative Chemical Biology Program, 2004 - 2006
  • Young Investigator Award, American Association of Anatomists , 2014
  • Award for Young Scientists, The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan , 2013


  • American Society for Cell Biology, 2005
  • Japanese Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1998

Professional Activities

  • Silvio O. Conte Digestive Disease Research Core Center Pilot Project, 2014
  • Principal Investigator, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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