‌Akira Chiba


257A Cox Science Center
1301 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33124
E-mail: akira.chiba@miami.edu
Office: (305) 284-3510

Akira Chiba is a biology professor at the University of Miami. His main research area is molecular neuroscience. Chiba's own science has ‘evolved’ following his lab’s relocation from Illinois to Miami in 2007. In the ocean that surrounds and on the islands at places not so far away, myriad exotic animals and plants live together as dynamic networks. Having been trained in molecular imaging, however, Chiba’s ‘islands’ are the cells in our body. Collaborating molecular genetics and laser optics, his team is poised to step into the ‘jungle’ of the molecules of life within the cells of the brain - visit ispinproject.org This is a new kind of ecology played out at the scale of nanometers, creating a sense of Déjà vu eighty years after the birth of modern ecology. Chiba received PhD from SUNY Albany in 1990 and postdoctoral training at Yale University and University of Tokyo. During the past seventeen years, Chiba has trained fourteen pre-doctoral and nine postdoctoral students in his laboratory. His philosophy as a trainer is personalized mentoring. Chiba prefers supervising a small, integrated group of no more than six at a time. He exercises one-on-one mentoring with his trainees, who pursue mutually complementary projects. As a principle investigator, Chiba has directed projects funded by eleven separate grants from NIH and NSF. Chiba is a past recipient of HFSPO fellowship and Markey Foundation neuroscience professorship, and is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). For over twenty years, Chiba has been using Drosophila as the primary model organism.


  • Sharifai N, Samarajeewa H, Kamiyama D, Deng TC, Boulina M, Chiba A (2014) Imaging dynamic molecular signaling by the Cdc42 GTPase within the developing CNS. PLoS ONE 9:e88870.
  • Boulina M, Samarajeewa H, Baker JD, Kim MD, Chiba A (2013) Live imaging of multicolor-labeled cells in DrosophilaDevelopment 140:1605-1613.
  • Kamiyama D, Chiba A (2009) Endogenous activation patterns of Cdc42 GTPase within Drosophila embryos. Science 324:1338-1340.
  • Furrer M-P, Kim S, Wolf B, Chiba A (2003) Frazzled and roundabout control dendritic growth cone guidance. Nature Neurosci 6:223-230.
  • Ritzenthaler S, Suzuki E, Chiba A (2000) Postsynaptic filopodia that interact with innervating motoneuronaxons. Nature Neurosci3:1012-1017.
  • Chiba A, Snow P, Keshishian H, Hotta Y (1995) Fasciclin III as a synaptic target recognition molecule in DrosophilaNature 374:166-168.