Takaaki Kuwajima, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Academic Affiliation

2018 – Present; Research Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
2018 – Present; Faculty Member of the Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration
2013 – 2017 Associate research scientist, Columbia University, NY
2006 – 2013 Postdoctoral research scientist, Columbia University, NY

Education & Training

  • 2001-2006 Ph.D in Biological Science, Osaka University, Japan
  • 1997-2001 B.S in Organic Chemistry, Ritsumeikan University, Japan

Representative Publications

  1. Kuwajima T, Mason C (2017) Live or Die? Depends Who You Are Neuron 94 (6):1043-1045
  2. Kuwajima T**, Celia S, Sitko AA, Lefebvre V, Mason C** (2017) SoxC transcription factors promote contralateral retinal ganglion cell differentiation and axon guidance in the mouse visual system. Neuron 93 (5):1110-1125 [** corresponding authors]
  3. Li H, Kuwajima T, Oakley D, Nikulina E, Hou J, Yang WS, Lowry ER, Lamas NJ, Amoroso MW, Croft GF, Hosur R, Wichterle H, Sebti S, Filbin MT, Stockwell B, Henderson CE (2016) Protein prenylation constitutes an endogenous brake on axonal growth. Cell Reports 16(2):545-558
  4. Kuwajima T, Sitko AA, Bhansali P, Jurgens C, Guido W, Mason C (2013) ClearT: a detergent- and solvent-free clearing method for visualizing neuronal and non- neuronal tissues. Development 140 (6):1364-1368
  5. Kuwajima T, Yoshida Y, Takegahara N, Petros TJ, Kumanogoh A, Jessell TM, Sakurai, T, Mason C (2012) Optic chiasm presentation of Semaphorin6D in the context with Plexin-A1 and Nr-CAM promotes retinal axon midline crossing. Neuron 74 (4):676-690
  6. Kuwajima T*, Hasegawa K*, Yoshikawa K (2010) Necdin promotes tangential migration of neocortical interneurons from basal forebrain. Journal of Neuroscience 30 (10):3709-3714 [*equal contribution to this work]
  7. Kuwajima T, Nishimura I, Yoshikawa K (2006) Necdin promotes GABAergic neuron differentiation in cooperation with Dlx homeodomain proteins. Journal of Neuroscience 26 (20):5383-5392

Research Interest Summary

Optic Nerve Regeneration Laboratory

Research Interests

Optic nerve regeneration
Optic nerve degeneration
Retinal axon injury
Retinal axon development


Research Grants

Research to Prevent Blindness/Ernest & Elizabeth Althouse/Dolly Green Special Scholar Award

The Alcon Research Institute Young Investigator Award

UPMC Competitive Medical Research Fund

Department of Ophthalmology, The Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine