Dr Riko Hatakeyama
Dr Riko Hatakeyama

Dr Riko Hatakeyama


Accepting PhDs


Institute of Medical Sciences

University of Aberdeen



AB25 2ZD

Scotland, UK


Office: 2.30.1

Lab: 2.06


2020- Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK (Group leader; Assistant Professor equivalent) 

2014-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (with Prof Claudio De Virgilio)

2011-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, Brandeis University, USA (with Prof Satoshi Yoshida)

2006-2011 PhD student, The University of Tokyo, Japan (with Prof Tatsuya Maeda)

2002-2006 Undergraduate student, The University of Tokyo, Japan (with Prof Katsuhiko Kitamoto)


Research Overview

Cell Growth Signalling in Space

I study how individual cells sense and respond to environmental changes. My particular focus is the Target of Rapamycin (TOR, or mTOR) kinase, which adjusts cell growth in response to diverse external stimuli such as nutrients, hormones and stresses.

TOR regulates a wide range of cellular processes operating at diverse subcellular locations ("organelles"). I want to understand how TOR receives signals from, and sends signals to, different locations. By combining various techniques of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and bioinformatics in yeast and mammalian cell models, our lab tries to fill the existing gap between the signalling and the organelle research fields.

Selected publications (original research articles)

  • Chen Z#, Malia PC#, Hatakeyama R#, Nicastro R, Hu Z, Péli-Gulli MP, Gao J, Nishimura T, Eskes E, Stephan CJ, Winderickx J, Dengjel J, De Virgilio C, Ungermann C. (2021) TORC1 determines Fab1 lipid kinase function at signaling endosomes and vacuoles. Curr. Biol. 31:297-309. #Co-first authors.
  • Hatakeyama R, De Virgilio C. (2019) TORC1 specifically inhibits microautophagy through ESCRT-0. Current Genetics. 65:1243-1249.
  • Hatakeyama R, Péli-Gulli MP, Hu Z, Jaquenoud M, Garcia Osuna GM, Sardu A, Dengjel J, De Virgilio C. (2019) Spatially distinct pools of TORC1 balance protein homeostasis. Molecular Cell. 73:325-338.
    • Featured article of Molecular Cell. 73, Issue 2.
    • Highlighted in Lahiri V and Klionsky DJ. (2019) Autophagy. 15:561-564.
    • Recommended in F1000Prime.
  • Michel AH, Hatakeyama R, Kimmig P, Arter M, Peter M, Matos J, De Virgilio C, Kornmann B. (2017) Functional mapping of yeast genomes by saturated transposition. Elife. 6, e23570.
    • Recommended in F1000Prime.
  • Hatakeyama R*, Kono K, Yoshida S*. (2017) Ypk1 and Ypk2 kinases maintain Rho1 at the plasma membrane by flippase-dependent lipid remodeling after membrane stresses. J Cell Sci. 130:1169-1178. *Corresponding authors.
  • Hatakeyama R, Kamiya M, Takahara T, Maeda T. (2010) Endocytosis of the aspartic acid/glutamic acid transporter Dip5 is triggered by substrate-dependent recruitment of the Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase via the arrestin-like protein Aly2. Mol Cell Biol. 30:5598-607.
  • Hatakeyama R, Nakahama T, Higuchi Y, Kitamoto K. (2007) Light represses conidiation in koji mold Aspergillus oryzae. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 71:1844-9.

Selected publications (reviews and commentaries)

  • Hatakeyama R. (2021) Pib2 as an emerging master regulator of yeast TORC1. Biomolecules. 11: 1489.
    • Featured article of Biomolecules. Special Issue “TOR Signaling Pathway”.
  • Hatakeyama R, De Virgilio C. (2019) A spatially and functionally distinct pool of TORC1 defines signaling endosomes in yeast. Autophagy. 15:915-916.
  • Hatakeyama R, De Virgilio C. (2016) Unsolved mysteries of Rag GTPase signaling in yeast. Small GTPases. 7:239-246.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Biomedical Sciences.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Biomedical Sciences

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


Current Lab Members

  • Megan Robertson (Technician, 2022-)
  • Rie Hatakeyama (Technician trainee, 2022-)
  • Samuel Atkinson (Postdoctoral fellow, 2022-)
  • Kenji Muneshige (PhD student, 2022-)
  • William Ritchie (PhD student, 2022-)
  • Eleftheria Moschou (Undergraduate project student, 2023)
  • Gregor Barr (Undergraduate project student, 2023)

Past Lab Members

  • Eri Hirata (Visiting postdoctoral fellow, 2021)
  • Aolat Adetosoye (Masters project student, 2022)
  • Yiqi Cai (Masters project student, 2021)
  • Trami Nielsen (Undergraduate summer student, 2022)
  • Daniel Paterson (Undergraduate project student, 2021)
  • Patryk Marcinkowski (Undergraduate project student, 2021)


Interested in joining us? I am always looking for talented personnel with diverse backgrounds. There are plenty of exciting projects waiting for you!

Postdocs and PhD students: I constantly seek funding to recruit motivated postdocs and PhD students. If you are interested in our research, contact me (riko.hatakeyama@abdn.ac.uk) with your CV. Please be specific on what you want to do in my lab. When there is a good fit, we can discuss potential options such as pending grant applications and available fellowships or studentships.

Masters and undergraduate students: Students of the University of Aberdeen have chances to join our lab via project allocation processes.

Funding and Grants

Research Grants as the Principal Investigator

  • BBSRC New Investigator Research Grant (2022-2025), "Separate pools for distinct outputs: Division of labour in the TORC1 cell growth signalling pathway", £662,283.
  • Daiwa Foundation Small Grant (2021), "Short stay of an early-career scientist for research collaboration (regulatory mechanism of Rho protein)", £2,850.
  • Wellcome Trust ISSF Seed Corn Fund (2021), "Visualizing the subcellular postcode PI(3,5)P2", £7,300.

Research Grants as a Co-Investigator

  • Tenovus Scotland Research Grant (2023-2024), "Combatting multidrug resistance: Inducing degradation of multidrug transporters in the pathogenic fungus Candida glabrata", PI: Dr Takashi Kubota, £12,000.

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