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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Noriko Nakamura Ph.D.

Staff Fellow — Division of Systems Biology

Dr. Noriko Nakamura
Noriko Nakamura, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications


Dr. Noriko Nakamura studied agriculture and physiology at the Department of Textiles Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology in Kyoto, Japan and graduated with a B.S. in 1997. She then attended the Graduate School of BioScience, Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Ikoma, Japan and earned an M.S. in molecular biology in 1999.  She attended the Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan and earned a Ph.D. in cell biology in 2004 for work on the molecular mechanism of lipid droplet formation in cultured cells by identifying protein-protein interactions using yeast-two hybrid screening.

Dr. Nakamura trained in reproductive biology and toxicology as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gamate Biology Section in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH in North Carolina from 2004 to 2009. She also trained as a research associate at Marshall University in West Virginia from 2009 to 2010. In 2010, Dr. Nakamura joined NCTR as a staff fellow.

Research Interests

While animals are currently used to assess male reproductive toxicology, in vitro models have recently been developed as possible alternatives. However, the spermatogenic process of stepwise differentiation from spermatogonia through spermatocytes and spermatids, to mature sperm occurring in seminiferous tubules in testes is complicated, and it has been difficult to find in vitro systems that recapitulate the entire process. Recently, a novel in vitro testis organ culture system has been reported which produced spermatids and fertility-proven sperm from neonatal mouse testes beginning with only primitive spermatogonia. Dr. Nakamura’s research focuses on developing in vitro models to assess drug/chemical toxicity. Her interest is in male reproductive toxicology (prostate and spermatogenesis), and she is currently investigating this novel in vitro testis organ culture system to study factors that affect spermatogenesis.  As there are no in vitro models for assessing the drug/chemical toxicity for the prostate, Dr. Nakamura is evaluating in vitro prostate models using a human prostate cell line and identifying specific biomarker(s) for human prostate diseases. Her experimental approaches employ molecular biology, cellular biology, physiology and histology.

Dr. Nakamura has been working to develop an in vitro testicular toxicity model using microfluidic device system by collaborating with CBER researchers. Her goal will be to develop in vitro models for male reproductive toxicity tests using microfluidic device system to enhance drug safety.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Cell Biology
2001 – Present

Teratology Society
2015 – Present

Japanese Society of Toxicology
2018 – Present


Selected Publications

Gene Expression Profiling of Cultured Mouse Testis Fragments Treated with Ethinylestradiol.
Nakamura N., Sloper D.T., and Del Valle P.L.
J Toxicol Sci. 2019, 44(10):667-679. doi: 10.2131/jts.44.667.

Testicular Function in Cultured Postnatal Mouse Testis Fragments is Similar to that of Animals During the First Wave of Spermatogenesis.
Pence L.M., Schmitt T.C., Beger R.D., Del Valle P.L., and Nakamura N.
Birth Defects Res. 2019, 111(5):270-280. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1451. [Epub 2019 Jan 31].

Evaluation of an In Vitro Testis Organ Culture System for Assessing Male Reproductive Toxicity.
Nakamura N., Sloper D.T., and Del Valle P.L.
Birth Defect Research. 2019, 111:70-77.

Testicular Function in Cultured Postnatal Mouse Testis Fragments Is Similar to That of Animals During the First Wave of Spermatogenesis.
Pence L.M., Schmitt T.C., Beger R.D., Del Valle P.L., and Nakamura N.
Birth Defect Research. 2019, 111: 270-280.

Transcript Profiling in the Testes and Prostates of Postnatal Day 30 Sprague-Dawley Rats Exposed Prenatally and Lactationally to 2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxybenzophenone.
Nakamura N., Vijay V., Desai V.G., Hansen D.K., Han T., Chang C.W., Chen Y.C., Harrouk W., McIntyre B., Foster P.M., Fuscoe J.C., and Inselman A.L.
Reproductive Toxicology. 2018, 82:111-123.

Evaluation of Culture Time and Media in an In Vitro Testis Organ Culture System.
Nakamura N., Merry G.E., Inselman A.L., Sloper D.T., DelValle P., Sato T., Ogawa T., and Hansen D.K.
Birth Defect Research. 2017, 109:465-474.

Effects of Maternal and Lactational Exposure to 2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxybenzone on Development and Reproductive Organs in Male and Female Rat Offspring.
Nakamura N., Inselman A.L., White G.A., Chang C.W., Trbojevich R.A., Sephr E., Voris K.L., Patton R.E., Bryant M.S., Harrouk W., McIntyre B.S., Foster P.M., and Hansen D.K.
Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2015, 104(1):35-51.

Early Postnatal Exposure to a Low Dose of Decabromodiphenyl Ether Affects Expression of Androgen and Thyroid Hormone Receptor-Alpha and its Splicing Variants in Mouse Sertoli Cells.
Miyaso H., Nakamura N., Naito M., Hirai S., Matsuno Y., Itoh M., and Mori C.
PLoS One. 2014, 9(12):e114487.

Correlation Between Human Maternal-Fetal Placental Transfer and Molecular Weight of PCB and Dioxin Congeners/Isomers.
Mori C., Nakamura N., Todaka E., Fujisaki T., Matsuno Y., Nakaoka H., and Hanazato M.
Chemosphere. 2014, 114:262-7.

Disruption of a Spermatogenic Cell-Specific Mouse Enolase 4 (Eno4) Gene Causes Sperm Structural Defects and Male Infertility.
Nakamura N., Dai Q., Williams J., Goulding E.H., Willis W.D., Brown P.R., and Eddy E.M.
Biol Reprod. 2013, 88(4):90.

Postnatal Exposure to Low-Dose Decabromodiphenyl Ether Adversely Affects Mouse Testes by Increasing Thyrosine Phosphorylation Level of Cortactin.
Miyaso H., Nakamura N., Matsuno Y., Kawashiro Y., Komiyama M., and Mori C.
J Toxicol Sci. 2012, 37(5):987-99.

Contact Information
Noriko Nakamura
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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