Dr. Sam Reiter, Assistant Professor
Email: samuel.reiter at

I was born and raised in Rhode Island, on the east coast of the United States. I did my undergraduate degree at Brown University in Providence, RI. For my PhD. I joined the Brown-NIH graduate partnership program, moving to Bethesda, M.D. to work in the lab of Mark Stopfer at the National Institutes of Health. For my post doctoral work I moved to Germany to join the lab of Gilles Laurent in Frankfurt, Germany. I came to OIST in 2019, and am interested in studying animal brains and behavior.

Shoko Yamakawa, Research Unit Administrator
Email: syamakaw at

Native Okinawan. Loves rescued cats more than humans. Enjoys dancing every weekend.Have been working at OIST as a Research Unit Administrator since 2004. So proud to work here & be part of the OIST community to contribute to the science progress and to the development of Okinawan economy.    


Rika Nakamura, Research Unit Technician
Email: rika.nakamura at

I completed my MSc program in Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology with a background in marine biotechnology and molecular biology. My fascination with marine invertebrates led me to join the Computational Neuroethology Unit as a research technician to support the unit’s research to uncover principles of cognition through the fascinating coleoid cephalopods. Aside from assisting in the unit’s management and experiments, my main role and focus are studying cephalopod biology and providing the optimum system and care for their rearing.