Dr. Tetsuya Hiraiwa obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2011 from the Department of Physics at Kyoto University, where he studied physics of softmatter and out-of-equilibrium systems under the supervision of Prof. Takao Ohta. For his graduate studies, he conducted theoretical investigations on viscoelasticity of a single polymer chain and dynamics of deformable self-propelled objects.

After completing his Ph.D., he switched to biophysics, and joined the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology as a Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-2013). There, he worked in the laboratory for physics biology, led by Prof. Tatsuo Shibata. The specific subjects he investigated include theoretical modelling of cell migration and computer simulations of epithelial tissue dynamics. Subsequently, after briefly working at Max-Planck-Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden on theoretical biophysics of cytoskeletal active mechanics with Dr. Guillaume Salbreux as a Guest Scientist (2013), he moved to the Department of Physics at Free University Berlin as a post-doc researcher under the Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researcher (2013-2015) (hosted by Prof. Roland R. Netz), where he focused on theoretical softmatter physics, particularly the study of viscoelasticity in semiflexible-chain meshwork using an iterative coarse-graining approach. After that, he joined the Department of Physics at The University of Tokyo as an Assistant Professor (2015-2019) (under Prof. Masaki Sano’s lab) and worked on physics of out-of-equilibrium systems including active matter. He then joined the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at National University of Singapore, where he launched a new group working on theoretical physical biology as a MBI Fellow (2019-2023). The group engaged in theoretical modelling of emergent and self-organization processes in living organisms from a mechanical point of view, including several computational works on dynamic self-organization of migrating cells.

In April 2023, Dr. Tetsuya Hiraiwa joined the Institute of Physics as an Associate Research Fellow, where he continues his research in theoretical biophysics and physical biology.

Q. Tell us about your research in one sentence.
A. Through the lens of mechanics, I am seeking the mechanisms behind how various structures and dynamics in living organisms can be organized theoretically.

Q. What are your hobbies aside from research work?
A. Music. I played clarinet in the university’s student- and city amateur- orchestras 10 years ago. Although I am not playing at the present, a lot of things I experienced in those musical activities have hugely influenced both my life and research.