Noboru Sato is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at University of California, Riverside. After receiving M.D. and Ph.D. degree in Japan, he started his research career focusing on the biological roles of specific signaling pathways at Weill (formerly known as Cornell) Medical College in New York. He then became interested in human embryonic stem cell research in 2000 and developed new research directions focusing on the molecular regulation of pluripotency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University. As an independent researcher at UCR, he continues to study how pluripotency is regulated at the signaling level using human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as model systems.
We are investigating how the function (self-renewal and pluripotency) and structure (cell architecture and cell-cell interactions) of pluripotent stem cells are mutually integrated to establish their unique molecular identity. We have determined that non-muscle myosin II (NMII) plays an essential role for the regulation of cellular interaction machineries in human and mouse ES cells, and is placed downstream of Rho-Rock signaling (Harb et al. 2008). Recently, we have reported that NMII is a key molecule which regulates cell survival of human pluripotent stem cells (Walker et al. 2010). We are currently focusing on understanding how NMII signaling and self-renewal regulators are interacting each other to determine the unique biological nature of human pluripotent stem cells.