Tetsuya Tanaka Research Associate Professor

Research Associate Professor
Tetsuya Tanaka

Research Interests:

Having expertise in large-scale data analysis and genetic manipulation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), Dr. Tanaka’s long-term research goal is to understand the molecular basis of the cell fate decision and tumor-like growth of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) at a single cell level. His studies have demonstrated that cell-substrate interactions play an essential role in the self-renewal and differentiation of mouse ESCs, and the chemical composition of culture media determines the tumor-like growth of mouse ESCs. In addition, his studies showed possible roles of two transcription factors in cell fate decision, and in the self-renewal and tumor-like growth of mouse ESCs. Since joined the University of Notre Dame to be a nexus between biologists and engineers in 2012, Dr. Tanaka has been involved in collaboration that:

  • has demonstrated that a nanometer-diameter pore in a solid state membrane can electroporate single mammalian cells and deliver a known number of DNA molecules inside the cell
  • is establishing a three-dimensional model of angiogenesis
  • studies the mechanism of bone formation under mechanical stimulation



  • Research Associate Professor 2012-Present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2006-2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto 2003-2006
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow 2000-2002
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute on Aging/NIH 1998-2003
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow 1995-1997
  • D. Sc./Ph.D. Osaka City University 1997
  • M.Sc. Osaka City University 1994
  • B. Sc. Osaka City University 1992


Recent Papers:

  • Poh Y.-C., Chen J., Hong Y., Yi H., Zhang S., Chen J., Wu D.C., Wang L., Jia Q., Singh R., Yao W., Tan Y., Tajik A., Tanaka T.S., Wang N. (2014) “Generation of organized germ ;ayers from a single mouse embryonic stem cell.” Nat. Commun. 5, 4000.
  • Kurz, V., Tanaka, T., and Timp, G. (2014) “Single cell transfection with single molecule resolution using a synthetic nanopore” Nano Letters 14, 604-611.
  • Li Y., Drnevich J., Akraiko T., Band M., Li D., Wang F., Matoba R., and Tanaka T.S. (2013) “Gene expression profiling reveals the heterogeneous transcriptional activity of Oct3/4 and its possible interaction with Gli2 in mouse embryonic stem cells” Genomics 102, 456-467.
  • Liu C., Tsai P., García A.M., Logeman B., and Tanaka T.S. (2011) “A possible role of Reproductive Homeobox 6 in primordial germ cell differentiation”, Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55, 909-916.
  • Li Y., Tamaki Yokohama-Tamaki and Tanaka T.S. (2011) “Short-term serum-free culture reveals that inhibition of Gsk3β induces the tumor-like growth of mouse embryonic stem cells”, PLoS ONE 6, e21355.
  • Chowdhury F., Li Y., Poh Y-C., Yokohama-Tamaki T., Wang N., and Tanaka T.S. (2010) “Soft substrates promote self-renewal of embryonic stem cells by maintaining low tractions”, PLoS ONE 5, e15565.
  • Chowdhury F., Na S., Li D., Poh Y.-C., Tanaka T.S., Wang F., and Wang N. (2010) “Material properties of the cell dictate stress-induced spreading and differentiation in embryonic stem cells” Nat. Mater. 9, 82-88.