Eiji Yoshihara, PhD

Eiji Yoshihara, PhD

Investigator, The Lundquist Institute
Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Genes and Metabolic regulation in the Development, Physiology and Diseases

Research Description

The overarching goal of Dr. Yoshihara’s laboratory is to understand the origin of life and physiology by using the state-of arts biomedical technologies. Dr. Yoshihara is seeking the spatial genes and metabolic regulation in development and physiology and use it the knowledge to develop the novel therapeutics for diabetes and related complications. To the end, his laboratory utilizes a multidisciplinary approach and multiomics analyses include genomics, proteomics and biochemistry and the model system for human organogenesis by pluripotent stem cells and tissue specific adult stem cells. Genetic animal model is also used for understanding the nature of pathophysiology. Dr. Yoshihara is also interested in developing the neo-futuristic biotechnologies, which may help for the human health and society.

The specific themes of the projects are below.
1) Understanding of human pancreatic islet organogenesis, functional maturation and immune evasion
2) Understanding of the microenvironment of pancreatic islets and the regulation
3) Understanding of Tissue specific genes function in whole body physiological regulation
4) Developing the biotechnology for regenerative medicine, including creating functional human organs.


  • PhD, 2011 Kyoto University, Japan

Recent and/or Significant Publications

Yoshihara E, O'Connor C, Gasser E, et al. Immune-evasive human islet-like organoids ameliorate diabetes [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 19]. Nature. 2020;10.1038/s41586-020-2631-z. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2631-z
Wei Z, Yoshihara E, He N, Hah N, Fan W, Huddy T, Wang Y, Ross B, Dai Y, Ding N, Sherman MH, Fang S, Zhao X, Liddle C, Atkins AR, Yu RT, Downes M, Evans RM. Vitamin D Switches BAF Complexes to Protect β Cells. Cell. 2018;173(5):1135-1149.e15. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2018.04.013
Yoshihara E, Wei Z, Lin CS, Fang S, Ahmadian M, Kida Y, Tseng T, Dai Y, Yu RT, Liddle C, Atkins A, Downes M, Evans RM. ERRγ Is Required for the Metabolic Maturation of Therapeutically Functional Glucose-Responsive β Cells. Cell Metab. 2016;23(4):622-634. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.03.005
Masters SL, Dunne A, Subramanian SL, Hull RL,Tannahill GM, Sharp FA, Becker C, Franchi L, Yoshihara E, Chen Z, Mullooly N, Mielke LA, Harris J, Coll R, Mills KHG, Mok KH, Newsholme P, Nunez G, Yodoi J, Kahn SE, Lavelle EC, O’Neill LA. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by islet amyloid polypeptide provides a mechanism for enhanced IL-1β in type 2 diabetes. Nat Immunol. 2010;11(10):897-904. doi:10.1038/ni.1935
Yoshihara E, Fujimoto S, Inagaki N, Okawa K, Masaki S, Yodoi J, Masutani H. Disruption of TBP-2 ameliorates insulin sensitivity and secretion without affecting obesity. Nat Commun. 2010;1:127. Published 2010 Nov 23. doi:10.1038/ncomms1127