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Home > Introduction of our tenure-track faculties > Shimmura Tsuyoshi

Introduction of our tenure-track faculties

Shimmura Tsuyoshi

Affiliation Organization for Promotion of Tenure-track System / Institute of Agriculture
Division Division of Biological Production
Research field Animal Science
Keyword(S) Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare
Research experience

・2007.04-2009.03:JSPS Research fellow (DC1) (Azabu University, Japan)
・2009.04-2013.03:JSPS Research fellow (PD) (Nagoya University, Japan)
・2013.06-2016.11:Assistant Professor, National Institute for Basic Biology, Japan
・2016.11-Present: Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Educational background

・2001.03:Bachelor of Science (Animal Science and Biotechnology), Azabu University, Japan
・2007.03:Master of Science (Animal Science and Biotechnology) , Azabu University, Japan
・2009.03:Doctor of Science and Culture (Ph.D.), Azabu University, Japan (Exceptional obtainment for 2 years)


・Young Investigator Award, Japanese Society of Animal Science (2014)

Selected papers and publications

・Shimmura T, Ohashi S, Yoshimura T. The highest-ranking rooster has priority to announce the break of dawn. Scientific Reports 5, 1-9 (2015). Top 100 read Scientific Reports article in 2015.
・Nakane Y, Shimmura T, Abe H, Yoshimura T. Intrinsic photosensitivity of a deep brain photoreceptor. Current Biology 24 (13), R596–R597 (2014). Featured in Current Biology Dispatch and selected for cover picture.
・Shimmura T, Yoshimura T. Circadian clock determines the timing of rooster crowing. Current Biology 23 (6), R231-R233 (2013). Selected for cover picture.

Research Description

Through ensuring the comfort of animals, animal welfare is intended to improve productivity as well as to create safe, high-added-value animal products that can contribute to human health. Since the 21st century, animal welfare has become a global standard, and this change has resulted in an obvious frame shift in livestock management systems. While carrying out these basic and applied research studies in parallel, I learned a host of techniques for understanding the multiple layers behind animal behavior, from the ecological to the molecular. Most animals communicate using innate vocalization, which does not require learning. However, the control mechanism behind innate vocalization has yet to be elucidated in any organism. I use the rooster’s crowing "cock-a-doodle-doo" as a model, and to date, I have found that the timing of crowing in roosters is controlled by a circadian clock and social rank. Also I have been uncovering the molecular mechanism on pattern and motivation of vocalization. My research initiative is aimed at understanding the vocal communications of animals by quantifying them automatically using technolgies and informatics. Then I intend to work on human regulation of the communications using sound stimilus. I also intend to work on the molecular mechanism of cannibalism and then on generating a chicken strain in which cannibalism is genetically regulated. These experiments would bear fruit in the form of revolutionary management systems for controlling animal behavior, achieved by regulating genetic and environmental factors and their interaction (i.e. epigenetic factors). The achievements resulting from this research initiative could improve productivity both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is my hope that my proposed research initiative will serve as a foundation for building a sustainable society wherein humans and animals can coexist.

About TUAT's tenure-track program

TUAT's tenure-track program have big advantage of independent research environment as well as many supporters, by which I can focus on my own original research. The symposiumu organized by tenure-track members, where I can make close connections with the members of different research fields, is also attractive for me, because I intend to realize the breakthrough by harmonizing agriculture and technology. The symposium also provide siginificant information for newly‐appointed PI: How to utilize the academic-industrial collaboration and intellectual property as well as how to apply the grants.

Future aspirations

Since TUAT's tenure-track program provide me the independent research environment, I can accelerate my own original research. Special characteristics of my research include how it addresses important real-world issues from an applied perspective, and how it employs all of the scientific technologies necessary to solve them. This research initiative will help solve these important issues by combining unique resources in Japan with the interdisciplinary, cutting-edge techniques I have learned, as well as to drive forward innovative research that can be done by no other specialist in the world. I believe that the local experiments at TUAT become grobal researches.