We study genome evolution, especially human genome evolution, through computer analyses and genome sequencing. Main research topics: (1) genome analyses of modern and ancient humans, (2) genome sequencing of various organisms with special interest in mammals and their analyses, and (3) development of phylogenetic methods useful for molecular evolutionary studies. Laboratory members are Specially Appointed Professor SAITOU Naruya, Specially Appointed Associate Professor SUZUKI Rumiko, and two technical assistants.

Professor SAITOU is going to retire National Institute of Genetics at the end of March, 2022.

Professor SAITOU gave final lecture on Friday, February 4th, 15:30-16:30. This lecture video file can be downloadable from:
Title of Final Lecture: Phylogeny, human evolution, and CNSs: three main areas I studied for almost 45 years of my research.

Retirement memorial symposium is also planned to be held on Saturday, March 5th and Sunday March 6th, 2022. Go to website.

Saitou Naruya (2013) Introduction to Evolutionary Genomics. Springer.

February 17th, 2018

Exactly 50 years ago, today in 1968, Dr. Motoo Kimura, then Head (later Professor) at Division of Population Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, published one paper titled "Evolutionary rate at the molecular level" in Nature, vol. 217, pp. 624-626. In this paper, he proposed "the Neutral Theory" that is now the core of the modern evolutionary theory.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Neutral Theory proposal, SMBE2018 was held in Yokohama, Japan.

What's new

31 March 2021

Special issue on Yaponesian Gnome was published in Anthropological Science, journal published by Anthropological Society of Nippon. This issue includes these two papers.

(1) Preface to the special issue on the Yaponesia Genome Project
     Naruya SAITOU <website>
(2) Modern human DNA analyses with special reference to the inner dual-structure model of Yaponesian
     Timothy A Jinam, Yosuke Kawai, and Naruya Saitou <website>

24 March 2021

A research highlight was published in NIG homepage about a paper published by Dr. Morteza M. Saber, Prof. Saitou, and others.
Title: Possible roles for DSCR4 (Down Syndrome Critical Region 4) gene

24 March 2021

A paper was published by Dr. Morteza M. Saber, Prof. Saitou, and others in Genes and Genetic Systems, journal published by Genetics Society of Japan. Dr. Saber received Ph.D. degree from University of Tokyo Graduate School of Science under supervison of Prof. Saitou, and now he is a post-doctoral fellow in Montreal, Canada.
Title: Possible roles for the hominoid-specific DSCR4 gene in human cells
Authors: Morteza M. Saber, Marziyeh Karimiavargani, Nilmini Hettiarachchi, Michiaki Hamada, Yoshihiro Ito and Naruya Saitou
<Webiste of this paper> <PDF>

19 February 2021

A research highlight was published in NIG homepage about a paper published by Assistant Prof. Jinam, Prof. Saitou, and others.
Title: Inner-dual structure of modern Yaponesians (people in Japanese Archipelago)

12 February 2021

Prof. Saitou published one essay in online journal iDarwin. He is Editor-in-chief of this journal.
SAITOU Naruya (2021) “My Thoughts on Biological Evolution” by KIMURA (2020) – translation of KIMURA (1988) –. iDarwin, vol. 1, pp. 37-53. <PDF>



February 14 2014

Saitou N. (2013) "Introduction to Evolutionary Genomics" Springer. Go to book website



SAITOU, Naruya
Specially Appointed Professor, National Institute of Genetics

Email Address: mail

TEL: +81-55-981-6790

FAX: +81-55-981-6789


Postal Address: 1111 Yata, Mishima, 411-8540, Japan