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Tachibana, Kikuë

Kikuë Tachibana, PhD.

Mechanisms of chromatin reorganization and reprogramming to totipotency in early embryos


Director, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry

Associated member since 2022


MPI of Biochemistry
Am Klopferspitz 18
82152 Martinsried

Phone: Assistant Kirsten Voß +48 89 857830-10

Website: MPI Research Department "Totipotency"

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

2000  B.A. Hons, Natural Sciences, Genetics (Class 1), University of Cambridge, UK
          B.A. thesis: “The role of TACC proteins in mitosis”
          Supervisors: Jordan Raff, Fanni Gergely, Gurdon Institute, UK

Advanced Professional Degrees

2005 Ph.D. thesis: “DNA replication: Its regulation and translational applications”
          Supervisor: Ron Laskey, MRC Cancer Cell Unit, University of Cambridge, UK  

Positions held

  • since Aug 2021 Director (full position), Department of Totipotency, MPIB
  • 2019-2021  Director (ancillary position), Department of Totipotency, MPIB
  • 2011-2021  Group leader, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
  • 2006-2011  Postdoctoral researcher: “Maintenance of sister chromatid cohesion in oocytes”
                        Lab head: Kim Nasmyth, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University, UK 

Fellowships and Awards

2018 EMBO Member
2018 Prize of the City of Vienna (Foerderungspreis)
2017 Walther Flemming Award of the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ)
2016-2018 EMBO Young Investigator (YIP)
2014-2018 Young Academy (Junge Kurie) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2005 Medical Research Council (MRC) Career Development Fellowship
2003-2004 Magdalene College Bye-Fellowship
2001-2004 MRC Pre-Doctoral Fellowship 

Selected CRC topic-related publications

Gassler, J.*, Kobayashi, W.,* Gáspár, I.*, Ruangroengkulrith, S.*, Kümmecke, M., Kravchenko, P., Zaczek, M., Vallot, A., Gomez Hernandez, L., Cuenca Rico, L., Ladstätter, S., Tachibana, K. (2022). Zygotic genome activation by the totipotency pioneer factor Nr5a2. Science 378 (6626) 1305-1315.

Dequeker, B.J.H., Scherr, M.J., Brandao, H.B., Gassler, J., Powell, S., Gaspar, I., Flyamer, I.M., Lalic, A., Tang, W., Stocsits, R., Davidson, I.F., Peters, J.-M, Duderstadt, K.E., Mirny, L.A., Tachibana, K. (2022). MCM complexes are barriers that restrict cohesin-mediated loop extrusion. Nature 606, 197-203.

Chatzidaki, E.E., Powell, S., Dequeker, B.J.H., Gassler, J., Silva, M.C.C., Tachibana, K. (2021). Ovulation suppression protects against chromosomal abnormalities in mouse eggs at advanced maternal age. Curr. Biol. 31, 4038-4051.
Research Highlight: Baumann, K. (2021). Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 22, 586.

Flyamer, I.M.*, Gassler, J.*, Imakaev, M.*, Brandão, H.B., Ulianov, S. V., Abdennur, N., Razin, S. V., Mirny, L.A., Tachibana-Konwalski, K. (2017). Single-nucleus Hi-C reveals unique chromatin reorganization at oocyte-to-zygote transition. Nature 544, 110–114.

  • Research Highlight: Perdigoto, C. (2017). Nat. Rev. Genet. 18, 327.
  • Highlighted in: Akst, J. (2017). The Scientist. December, 28-35. Cover story.
  • Recommended in F1000 Prime as being of special significance in its field.

Ladstätter, S., and Tachibana-Konwalski, K. (2016). A Surveillance Mechanism Ensures Repair of DNA Lesions during Zygotic Reprogramming. Cell 167, 1774–1787.

  • Preview: Zou, L. (2016). Cell 167, 1676- 1678.
  • Highlighted in: Akst, J. (2017). The Scientist. December, 28-35. Cover story.
  • 2016 Best Paper Award by the Austrian Academy of Sciences