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

Nicholas M. Luscombe, Professor
Google scholar

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. 

Anna Klarkowska, Rotation student 

Anna is a rotation student with a background in genetics. After undertaking a MSc in bioinformatics, she became interested in enhancer RNAs and their function in gene regulation. She will stay with the unit until December 2023.

Bruna Fistarol, Intern

Bruna joined the unit as a research intern after obtaining her M.Sc. from the School of Applied Mathematics at Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil). She has experience with mathematical modeling, computer science and is a molecular biology enthusiast (obtained while working in a wet lab and looking for mathematical applications in the field as an undergrad). Currently, she is interested in modeling the dynamics of O. dioica genome scrambling.



Former Members

  • Kose Watanabe, Intern (Keio University)
  • Noa Yuzo Brenner, Intern (UH, Manoa)
  • 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 (currently at Weizmann Insitute of Science, IL)
  • Aleksandra Bliznina. PhD scholar (currently at 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
  • Tanmay Rustagi, Intern
  • Charlotte West, Intern (currently at EBI, Cambridge, UK)
  • Julien Pichon, Intern (University of Paris, FR)
  • Jai Denton, Research Scientist (currently at CropLife Australia, ACT, AU)
  • Ritsuko Suyama, Research Scientist (currently at Osaka University)
  • Anna Poetsch, Research Scientist (currently at TU, Dresden, DE)
  • Garth Ilsley, Staff Scientist (currently at EBI, Cambridge, UK)