Yukiko Goda

Yukiko Goda smiling
Yukiko Goda
PhD Stanford University
BSc University of Toronto


My research career had its beginnings in undergraduate summer internships – one in an organic chemistry lab and another in a gene regulation lab at the University of Toronto where I first found the excitement of experimental problem solving. For my PhD, I joined Dr. Suzanne Pfeffer’s group at Stanford University where I studied intracellular membrane traffic. Subsequently, attracted by the field of neuroscience, I received my postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Chuck Stevens. I then joined the faculty of Biology Division, University of California, San Diego in 1997 to start my own group. This was followed by a move to the UK in 2002 as a Senior Group Leader in the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at University College London. In 2011, I moved back to Japan to the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (now Center for Brain Science), and in 2022, I am excited to join OIST. My research interests center on synapses, the fundamental nodes of information transmission in the brain. The lab investigates basic principles of synaptic communication in brain circuit operations underlying animal behaviors down to exploring synaptic design in simple model networks. Our recent efforts also target roles for astrocytes in synapse regulation.

Professional Experience

  • Team Leader, RIKEN Center for Brain Science, 2018-present
  • Senior Team Leader, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, 2011-2017
  • Senior Group Leader, MRC Cell Biology Unit, University College London, 2002-2011
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Biology, UC San Diego, 1997-2002

Awards and Honors

  • EMBO Associate Member, elected, 2023
  • Tsukahara Nakaakira Award, The Brain Science Foundation, 2013
  • NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, 2003
  • Klingenstein Fellowship in the Neurosciences, 2001-2003
  • Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, 2000-2003
  • Sloan Research Fellow, 1998-2000
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund, Postdoctoral fellow, 1991-1994

Professional Activities (recent)

  • Society for Neuroscience, Councilor, 2023-2027
  • Japan Neuroscience Society, Vice President, 2023-2025
  • IBRO Asia Pacific Regional Committee, Chair, 2024-2026
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency FOREST Program Officer, 2020-present
  • Japan Neuroscience Society, International Collaboration Affairs Committee Chair, 2020-present
  • Science Council of Japan, Member, 2014-2025

Select Publications

  • Letellier M, Goda Y. (2023) Astrocyte calcium signaling shifts the polarity of presynaptic plasticity. Neuroscience 525, 38-46.
  • Saint-Martin M, Goda Y. (2022) Astrocyte-synapse interactions and cell adhesion molecules. FEBS J 290, 3512-3526. doi: 10.1111/febs.16540.
  • Chater TE, Goda Y. (2022) The shaping of AMPA receptor surface distribution by neuronal activity. Front Synaptic Neurosci 14, 833782. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2022.833782.
  • Chipman PH, Fung CCA, Fernandez A, Sawant A, Tedoldi A, Kawai A, Gautam SG, Kurosawa M, Abe M, Sakimura K, Fukai T, Goda Y. (2021) Astrocyte GluN2C NMDA receptors control basal synaptic strengths of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in the stratum radiatum. eLife 10:e70818.
  • Tong R, Chater TE, Emptage NJ, Goda Y. (2021) Heterosynaptic cross-talk of pre- and postsynaptic strengths along segments of dendrites. Cell Rep 34, 108693. doi: 10.1016.
  • Chater TE, Goda Y. (2020) My Neighbour Hetero - deconstructing the mechanisms underlying heterosynaptic plasticity. Curr Op Neurobiol 67, 106-114. doi: 10.1016.
  • Bassett DS, Cullen KE, Eickhoff SB, Farah MJ, Goda Y et al. (2020) Reflections on the past two decades of neuroscience. Nat Rev Neurosci 21, 524-534.
  • Letellier M, Levet F, Thoumine O, Goda Y. (2019) Differential role of pre and postsynaptic neurons in the activity-dependent control of synaptic strengths across dendrites. PLoS Biol 17, e2006223.
  • Park YK, Goda Y. Integrins in Synapse Regulation. (2016) Nat Rev Neurosci 17, 745-756.
  • Letellier M, Park YK, Chater TE, Chipman PH, Gautam SG, Oshima-Takago T, Goda Y. (2016) Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113, E2685-2694.
  • Vitureira N, Goda Y (2013) The interplay between Hebbian and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. J Cell Biol 203, 175-186.
  • Vitureira N, Letellier M, White IJ, Goda Y (2011) Differential control of presynaptic efficacy by postsynaptic N-cadherin and β-catenin. Nat Neurosci 15, 81-89.
  • Pozo K, Goda Y. (2010) Unraveling mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Neuron 66, 337-351.
  • Staras K, Branco T, Burden JJ, Pozo K, Darcy K, Marra V, Ratnayaka A, Goda Y. (2010) A vesicle superpool spanning multiple presynaptic terminals in hippocampal neurons. Neuron 66, 37-44.
  • Cingolani LA, Thalhammer A, Yu LM, Catalano M, Ramos T, Colicos MA, Goda Y. (2008) Activity-dependent regulation of synaptic AMPA receptor composition and abundance by β3 integrins. Neuron 58, 749-762.
  • Branco T, Staras K, Darcy KJ, Goda Y. (2008) Local dendritic activity sets release probability at hippocampal synapses. Neuron 59, 475-485.