I received my B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University and conducted my postdoctoral study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. I was initially trained in gene regulation and signal transduction in bacteria, but I reached a turning point when I was appointed as an assistant professor in Kyoto University in 1979 and began investigating crystallin gene regulation in lens development. In 1988, I became a full professor at the Department of Molecular Biology in Nagoya University School of Sciences, and I widened my scope to study transcription factors (TFs) regulating developmental processes. In 1993, I moved to the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University (serving as Director from 1998 to 2002). Further, in 2003, I joined the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University (serving as a Dean from 2006 to 2008). In 2014, I moved to Kyoto Sangyo University. Since 1995, when I first reported TF SOX2 as the major regulator of lens development, SOX2 function and its regulation in early embryogenesis have been the focus of my research. My current interest is the gene regulatory networks underlying the epiblast state and the derivation of various somatic lineages.