School of Medicine - Basic Medical ScienceMicrobiology




The Department of Microbiology made a new start in May, 2016, when Professor Masaya Higuchi transferred from the Department of Virology, Niigata University School of Medicine. Our research topics include stress response of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP10 and functional analysis of natural immunity. We also continue our research on the mechanism of persistent infection and pathogenesis of Theilovirus (Theiler’s virus and Saffold virus). We investigate and analyze each virus protein’s role in viral growth and their effects on the host from various angles, aiming to understand the relationship between virus infection and diseases such as autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

Contact Information

TEL: 076-218-8097 +81-76-218-8097 / FAX: 076-286-3961 +81-76-286-3961 / Email:



  • HIGUCHI Masaya 微生物_樋口雅也

Associate Professor

  • HIMEDA Toshiki

Assistant Professor

  • OKUWA Takako
  • UTANI Koichi

Research Assistant

  • SAITO Sumie

Research Achievements

Research Activities

  • Higuchi M, Kawamura H, Matsuki H, Hara T, Takahashi M, Saito S, Saito K, Jiang S, Naito M, Kiyonari H, Fujii M: USP10 is an essential deubiquitinase for hematopoiesis and inhibits apoptosis of long-term hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cell Reports 7: 1116-1129 (2016)
  • Shimizu A, Himeda T, Okuwa T, Muraki Y, Ohara Y: Role(s) of Leader protein of Saffold virus. J. Clinic. Exp. Neuroimmunol. 5: 362-366 (2014)
  • Himeda T, Okuwa T, Muraki Y, Ohara Y: Possibility of neuropathogenesis of Saffold virus suggested from the in vitro virus persistence. J. Clinic. Exp. Neuroimmunol. 4: 163–164 (2013)
  • Himeda T, Hosomi T, Okuwa T, Muraki Y, Ohara Y: Saffold virus type 3 (SAFV-3) persists in HeLa cells. PLoS One. 8(1): e53194 (2013)
  • Himeda T, Ohara Y: Saffold virus, a novel human cardiovirus with unknown pathogenicity. J. Virol. 86: 1292-1296 (2012)

External Research Funding

  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), Takako Okuwa 2017-2019
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), Masaya Higuchi 2015-2017
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), Toshiki Himeda, 2014-2016
  • Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), Toshiki Himeda, 2012-2013
  • Grant from Takeda Science Foundation, Toshiki Himeda, 2012