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Magdalene College Cambridge

Dr Liria Masuda-Nakagawa

Dr Liria M Masuda-Nakagawa is a Fellow Commoner, Director of Studies and College Lecturer in Part 1B Biological Sciences, specialising in Neurobiology.

After my PhD in the University of Tokyo, I have held research positions in the University of Basel (Switzerland), RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Wako, Japan), and the Universities of Tsukuba and Tokyo. I have been a Senior Research Associate in Cambridge since 2011.

Research Interests

Drosophila neuronal circuitry, especially in the fields of sensory discrimination, and learning and memory.


B.Sc. 1981 (University of Chiba); M.Sc. 1983 (University of Tokyo); PhD 1986 (University of Tokyo)

Career/Research Highlights

Roles of cell adhesion molecules in central nervous system regeneration; identification of a head-determining factor in Cnidaria; establishing stereotypic and random connections as a means to encode sensory information for learning.

Professional Affiliations

The Genetics Society

Selected Publications

A single GABAergic neuron mediates feedback of odor-evoked signals in the mushroom body of larval Drosophila.
*Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Ito K, Awasaki T, O’Kane CJ
Frontiers Neural Circuits 2014; 8:35. ; DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00035

Localized olfactory representation in the mushroom bodies of Drosophila larvae. *Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Gendre N, O’Kane CJ, Stocker RF
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2009;106, 10314-9 ; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900178106

Stereotypic and random patterns of connectivity in the larval mushroom body calyx of Drosophila.
*Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Tanaka NK, O’Kane CJ
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2005;102, 19027-32

Octopaminergic neurons have multiple targets in Drosophila larval mushroom body calyx and can modulate behavioral odor discrimination.
Wong JHY, Wan BA, Bland T, Montagnese M, McLachlan AD, O’Kane CJ, Zhang S-W, Masuda-Nakagawa LM*
Learn Mem, 2021; 28, 53-71.

Full list of PubMed publications: