Kan Tanaka

1991-1993 Assistant Professor, Institute of Applied Microbiology, The University of Tokyo
1993-1997 Assistant Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo
1997-2007 Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo
2007-2011 Professor, Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University
2011-2016 Professor, Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology
2016- Professor, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Field of Specialization
Molecular Genetics, Evolutional Cell Biology 

Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science(IIR, Tokyo Tech)


Group: Molecular and Cellular Biology International Research Hub Group

Research Highlights

  • Target genes for the highly conserved response regulator Rre1 were identified in cyanobacteria (2017.01).
  • ABA response and the underlying mechanism were made clear in a red alga (2016.04).

Selected Awards

  • The Japan Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry Society Award for the Encouragement of Young Scientists (2002)
  • Japan Prize of Agricultural Science for Young Scientist (2002)
  • Takeda Prize for International Contributions (2013)


  • Yuki Kobayashi, Sousuke Imamura, Mitsumasa Hanaoka and Kan Tanaka (2011) A tetrapyrrole-regulated ubiquitin ligase controls algal nuclear DNA replication. Nature Cell Biol13, 483-487.
  • Motomichi Matsuzaki et al. (2004) Genome sequence of the ultra-small unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae 10D. Nature 428, 653-657.
  • Kan Tanaka, Kosuke Oikawa, Niji Ohta, Haruko Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa, and Hideo Takahashi (1996) Nuclear encoding of a chloroplast RNA polymerase sigma subunit in a red alga. Science 272, 1932-1935.
  • Kan Tanaka, Tetsuo Shiina and Hideo Takahashi (1988) Multiple principal sigma factor homologs in eubacteria: Identification of the “rpoD Box.” Science 242, 1040-1042.