Takahiko Koyama  Takahiko Koyama photo         

contact information

Lead Scientist - Watson Genomics
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  American Association for Cancer Research


Taka Koyama joined IBM Research at Yorktown in 2014. He had been at IBM Research Tokyo since 2009. Before joining IBM, he worked at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company as a computational chemist and a bioinformatician. He was engaged in 10 research projects in Takeda analyzing high throughput screening data and optimizing leads in both structure based and ligand based contexts. He optmized compounds in a PLK1 inhibitor project and TAK-960 from the project entered into a clinical trial.

Taka received BS in physics with Highest Honor from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 and Ph. D. in physics from Cornell University in 1999. After inspired by Human Genome Project, he became a postdoctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2001 where he conducted a research on protein flexibility. Then, he moved to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company as previously mentioned.

Alarmed by $1000 genome, Taka proposed Genomic Medicine Initiative at IBM in 2012. In the next year, he lead 2014 Global Techology Outlook topic 'Biospace Revolution'. That made him to move to Yorktown to lead Watson Genomic Analytics project and collaboration with New York Genome Center in Glioblastoma trial. Watson Genomic Analytics became a Watson Health offering Watson for Genomics in 2016 and it has been used over 20 cancer institutions and hospitals in US, Japan, China, and Canada.

In cancer area, Taka is analyzing non-coding mutations, splicing, non-coding RNAs, epigenomics, structural variants, and transposons. In a recent study, he found many recurrent mutations in uncharacterized pseudogenes and lncRNAs which might play critical roles in epigenomic regulation. Also, he is actively conducting research in immunotherapy. Not just tumor genome, leukocytes, TCR repertoire, cytokines, and even gut microbiome are related to responses to immunotherapy treatments. He believes that liquid biopsy based resonse monitoring combined with immunotherapy would revolutionize cancer treatments.

Aside from cancer area, Taka is working on genome and epigenome analysis of stem cells in a collaboration with CiRA eventually to achieve safe and effective iPSC derived cells. He is hoping to unlock mysteries hidden in genome and to establish underpinnings of cellular reprogramming and differentiations. Ramifications might lead to fundamental solutions to chronic disorders associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders as well as producing a cell with less difference to a target cell.

小山尚彦はIBM Watson研究所に2014年より赴任しており、2009年から東京基礎研究所に在籍しておりました。IBMに入る前は武田薬品工業株式会社にてバイオインフォマティクスや計算科学分野で探索研究を行い、10のプロジェクトでハイスループットスクリーニングのデータ解析やリード最適化を担当いたしました。PLK1阻害薬のプロジェクトではTAK-960が臨床試験に入りました。


迫りくる1000ドルゲノムの現実性に危機感を覚え、小山は2012年にIBM内でゲノム医療プロジェクトを立ち上げました。その翌年、GTO(グローバルテクノロジーアウトルック)のリーダーを務めました。がんゲノム医療のソリューションを作るべく、現在のワトソン研究所に転籍しニューヨークゲノムセンターとの協業をけん引いたしました。このソリューションはWatson for Genomicsとして米国、日本、カナダ、中国など20か所以上の医療機関で利用されています。






Projects and Groups

Technical Areas