Toki Takahashi

Toki Takahashi, MD, PhD


Personal profile


Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences

I was originally a practising clinician as well as a research scientist in haematology and oncology at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan. During my research, I became more interested in the diversity of animal species as a result of modification of developmental process. Consequently, I joined the laboratory of Professor Peter Holland in 2001, where I focused on evolutionary developmental biology. Here in Manchester, my long-term scientific goal is to rejuvenate a comparative zoological approach to life science by bringing my two areas of expertise together.



1984-1990 MD: Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo

1990-1992 Resident: University of Tokyo Hospital and Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Hospital

1992-1996 PhD: Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo



1996-1999 Clinical Staff: Department of Haematology and Oncology, and Department of Transfusion, University of Tokyo Hospital

1999-1999 Postdoctoral Research Scientist (JSPS): Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Tokyo

1999-2001 Assistant Professor: Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Tokyo

- change in academic direction from Medicine to Biology at this point -

2001-2002 JSPS/Royal Society (London) Exchange Visitor: School of Animal and Microbial Sciences, University of Reading

2003-2006 Senior Research Fellow: Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

2007-pres. Lecturer in Anatomy: Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester

Research interests

Evolutionary origin of vertebrate novelties

The origin of research on interactions between evolution and development can be traced back well into the 19th century, but has recently been rejuvenated by introducing a molecular approach to comparative embryology or zoology. My interests centre on molecular mechanisms which lead to vertebrate novelties in relation to the large-scale genomic events at early vertebrate evolution. Currently, I am focusing on the genetic basis underlying the evolution of chordate craniofacial structure, as their emergence was certainly a critical step for the successful expansion of vertebrates.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Areas of expertise

  • QH301 Biology
  • Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • Comparative Developmental Biology
  • QH426 Genetics
  • Comparative Genomics
  • Alx homeobox genes
  • QL Zoology
  • Amphioxus
  • Chordates
  • Vertebrates
  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • Haematology & Oncology
  • Haematopoietic Stem Cells


  • Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • Alx homeobox gene family
  • Comparative Genomics
  • Amphioxus


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