Nicholas M. Luscombe | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology OIST

Nicholas M. Luscombe, Professor
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Nick is a leading computational biologist known for his work on gene regulation using bioinformatics. As head of the unit, he employs big data and computational methods to advance genomic research and understand complex biological processes.

Aki Masunaga, Technician

Aki successfully established an impressive culturing facility for the long-term maintenance of Oikopleura dioica at GRSU since she began her career here in 2015. Currently, she is involved in whole genome DNA isolation/sequencing of field samples on NGS (Illumina & Nanopore) platforms and yet still manages to coordinate and conduct field work required for the population study.

Dr Yongkai Tan Technician
Google scholar

Yongkai has provided his expertise in NGS, gleaned while working for Beijing Genomic Institute in Kobe, to the GRSU group since starting in 2016. Currently, he is involved in whole genome DNA & RNA isolation/sequencing of field samples on NGS (Illumina & Nanopore) platforms. He has been successful in optimizing isolation conditions of typically low total-genomic DNA yields found in Oikopleura samples for high-quality long reads from a single individual.

Andrew Liu, Technician
Google scholar

Andy joined the unit in 2017, previously from Neurobiology Unit since starting at OIST in 2010 and RIKEN Center for Brain Science between 2005-2010. Provides culturing, fieldwork, molecular and cell biology support for the Oikopleura project. Also, involved with development of wet-lab automation in a Genomics setting.

Dr Charles Plessy, Staff Scientist
Google scholar

Charles joined in 2018 hailing from RIKEN Yokohama campus. He brought with him nearly 20 years of genomic and transcript analysis proficiency along with a strong background in bioinformatics and Linux system administration. He likes scientific challenges that can be solved with a high-throughput screen. As an enthusiastic group leader, he leads multiple projects within the unit, and promotes open-source software in OISTs bioinfo user group. He also enjoys practicing aikido on the OIST campus.

Dr Michael Mansfield, Research Scientist
Google scholar

Michael joined the unit as a Postdoctoral Scholar after obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in 2020. His computational research integrates data from many sources to derive biological understanding from complex patterns in genomic data.

Nicolas DIERCKXSENS | Research Associate | Master of Science in  Bio-Engineering: Cell and Gene Biotechnology | KU Leuven, Leuven | ku  leuven | Department of Human Genetics | Research profile

Dr. Nicolas Dierckxsens, Research Scientist

A computational biologist from Belgium, Nicolas developed the widely-used organelle assembler, NOVOPlasty during his PhD and later researched disease-causing variants in university hospitals. Passionate about nature, he is now an interdisciplinary postdoc interdisciplinary postdoc between the Marine Climate Change unit of Prof. Ravasi and the Genomics and Regulatory Systems unit.

Dr. Jiashun Miao, Research Scientist

Jiashun's main interests are in population genomics and evolutionary genomics. Currently, he working on various projects involving next-generation sequencing, including the population genomics study of O. dioica.


J. Nicolaus Wibisana, PhD student
Google scholar, Website

Nico joined the unit in 2022 working on the epigenetic landscape of O. dioica. He previously worked on super-enhancer in B cell activation at Osaka University before moving to OIST for PhD, currently working on the gene regulation mechanism in O. dioica.

Mohammed Mahdi, Research Intern

Mahdi is a Nigerian Born Doctorate student of Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands that is interested in bioinformatics and computational biology. previously studied at Ahmadu Bello University and now working on genome scrambling and pairwise genome alignments.

Yutei Takahashi, Rotation student

Yutei is interested in genetic and epigenetic regulation of aging. Before joining the OIST PhD program, he had experience investigating sequence dependency of super-enhancers in mouse embryonic stem cells and deep-learning models for spatial annotation of zebrafish embryos. He is currently working on promoter sequencing of O. dioica.

Former Members

  • Bruna Fistarol, Intern (Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil)
  • Anna Klarkowska, Rotation Student (Saze Unit)
  • Kose Watanabe, Intern (Keio University)
  • Noa Yuzo Brenner, Intern (UH, Manoa, USA)
  • Rikuo Takahashi, Intern (Keio University)
  • Charlotte Capitanchik, Visiting Research Scientist (Crick Institute, London UK)
  • Gaspar Sánchez-Serna, Visiting PhD student (University of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Maria Sara Del Rio-Pisula, Intern
  • Huyên Pham, Intern
  • Elizaveta Miticheva, Intern (Weizmann Insitute of Science, IL)
  • Aleksandra Bliznina. PhD scholar (Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK)
  • Amy Yong, Rotation Student (Terenzio Unit)
  • Daniel Gutiérrez, Rotation Student (Wolf Unit)
  • Naohiro Yamauchi, Rotation Student (Doya Unit)
  • Jan Grašič, (Kono Unit)
  • Saurabh Kumar, Intern (HSBC, Pune, IN)
  • Tanmay Rustagi, Intern (Databricks, Amsterdam, NL)
  • Charlotte West, Intern (EBI, Cambridge, UK)
  • Julien Pichon, Intern (University of Paris, FR)
  • Jai Denton, Research Scientist (CropLife Australia, ACT, AU)
  • Ritsuko Suyama, Research Scientist (Osaka University)
  • Anna Poetsch, Research Scientist (TU, Dresden, DE)
  • Garth Ilsley, Staff Scientist (EBI, Cambridge, UK)