Toshi Tomoda, MD., Ph.D.

Dr. Toshi Tomoda is a Project Scientist in the Department of Neurobiology of Depression and Aging. He leads the research group focusing on brain homeostasis regulation in health and brain disorders with affect and cognitive disturbances.

Research Focus

Dr. Tomoda’s primary research question is how affective and cognitive processes are regulated to shape our mind and behaviour in health and brain disorders.

He particularly focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms for the maintenance of functional homeostasis of cortical circuits underlying normal neurotransmission and neuroplasticity. He studies how disrupted homeostasis of cortical circuits (through, for example, attenuated autophagy, elevated ER stress, disrupted proteostasis, neuroinflammatory changes) may manifest as maladaptive circuit changes, such as excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, leading to affect and cognitive disturbances commonly observed across neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions.

His lab uses cell type-specific circuit manipulation coupled with functional analysis tools in rodent models, and human biopsied samples for correlative studies.

Meet the team


Tomoda T, Yang K, Sawa A.Neuronal Autophagy in Synaptic Functions and Psychiatric Disorders. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 May 1;87(9):787-796. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.07.018. Epub 2019 Jul 29. Review.PMID:31542152

Sumitomo A, Horike K, Hirai K, Butcher N, Boot E, Sakurai T, Nucifora FC Jr, Bassett AS, Sawa A, Tomoda T. A mouse model of 22q11.2 deletions: Molecular and behavioral signatures of Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.Sci Adv. 2018 Aug 15;4(8):eaar6637. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6637. eCollection 2018 Aug. PMID:30116778

Sumitomo A, Yukitake H, Hirai K, Horike K, Ueta K, Chung Y, Warabi E, Yanagawa T, Kitaoka S, Furuyashiki T, Narumiya S, Hirano T, Niwa M, Sibille E, Hikida T, Sakurai T, Ishizuka K, Sawa A, Tomoda T. Ulk2 controls cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance via autophagic regulation of p62 and GABAA receptor trafficking in pyramidal neurons. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Sep 15;27(18):3165-3176. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy219. PMID:29893844

Sumitomo A, Saka A, Ueta K, Horike K, Hirai K, Gamo NJ, Hikida T, Nakayama KI, Sawa A, Sakurai T, Tomoda T. Methylphenidate and Guanfacine Ameliorate ADHD-Like Phenotypes in Fez1-Deficient Mice. Mol Neuropsychiatry. 2018 May;3(4):223-233. doi: 10.1159/000488081. Epub 2018 Apr 26. PMID:29888233

Sumitomo A, Ueta K, Mauchi S, Hirai K, Horike K, Hikida T, Sakurai T, Sawa A, Tomoda T. Ulk1 protects against ethanol-induced neuronal stress and cognition-related behavioral deficits. Neurosci Res. 2017 Apr; 117:54-61. doi:10.1016/j.neures.2016.12.004. Epub 2016 Dec 23.PMID:28017600

More published papers on Google Scholar