Toby Passioura

Project assistant professor

Um… Not so much time for hobbies at the moment, really. Learning Japanese perhaps?
Places You Like
I had a great time living in Buenos Aires for a little while, but then I’m quite enjoying living in Tokyo so far too.
Where for a big vacation
Well, I guess that my vacations from here are likely to be back to Australia, but I’d like to travel in Asia a bit. Maybe to Thailand for the food.
What are your strong points?
I’m extremely modest.
Music: what is some intense music for intense lab work?
I like many types of music, but when I listen to music in the lab it tends to be old Jamaican Ska and Reggae.
What are people in the lab doing?
Right now, most of the people in the lab are either training newcomers or being trained themselves.
What was surprising about the suga lab
I didn’t really know what to expect, so I don’t know that anything was too surprising. The people in the lab are more relaxed than I expected, but also seem to be very hard working. It’s a nice combination.
Original motivation towards science?
I don’t remember what my original motivation was – it just seemed sort of inevitable. My motivation now is just the enjoyment of building things that do something cool.
A few words for future lab mates
I don’t know that I’m in much of position to offer them advice just yet. I’ve only just started here and I think that I’ll be the one needing the advice.
Science is ……
A great way to gain an appreciation for how little you truly know.


Bsc (Hons), University of New South Wales
PhD, University of New South Wales

Professional career

Scientist, Johnson & Johnson Research
Senior Scientist and Project Leader, Johnson & Johnson Research
Senior Pharmacologist and Project Leader, Ceramisphere
Postdoctoral research fellow, The University of Tokyo

Contact Info

  • Room #2207, West wing, Chemistry Bildg.
    Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
  • E-mail… toby"at" (change "at" to @)
  • TEL…+81-3-5841-4638
  • FAX…+81-3-5841-8372


"Selection-based discovery of druglike macrocyclic peptides"
Passioura, T.; Katoh, T.; Goto, Y.; Suga, H.
Annual Review of Biochemistry, 2014, 83, 727-752.
"Flexizyme-mediated genetic reprogramming as a tool for noncanonical peptide synthesis and drug discovery"
Passioura, T.; Suga, H.
Chemistry, 2013, 19, 6530-6536.
"Technologies for the synthesis of mRNA-encoding libraries and discovery of bioactive natural product-inspired non-traditional macrocyclic peptides"
Ito, K.; Passioura, T.; Suga, H.
Molecules, 2013, 18, 3502-3528.
"Flexizymes, their evolutionary history and diverse utilities"
Passioura, T.; Suga, H.
Topics in Current Chemistry, 2013.
"Primary leukocyte screens for innate immune agonists"
Goodchild, A.; Nopper, N.; Craddock, A.; Law, T.; King, A.; Fanning, G.; Rivory, L.; Passioura T.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening, 2009, 14, 723-730.
"Sequence determinants of innate immune activation by short interfering RNAs"
Goodchild, A.; Nopper, N.; King, A.; Doan, T.; Tanudji, M.; Arndt, GM.; Poidinger, M.; Rivory, LP.; Passioura, T.;
BMC Immunology, 2009, 10, 40.
"Interfering ribonucleic acids that suppress expression of multiple unrelated genes"
Passioura, T.; Gozar, MM.; Goodchild, A.; King, A.; Arndt, GM.; Poidinger, M.; Birkett, DJ.; Rivory, LP.
BMC Biotechnology, 2009, 9, 57.
"Dz13, a DNAzyme targeting c-jun, induces off-target cytotoxicity in endothelial cells with features of nonapoptotic programmed cell death"
Gozar, MM.; Goodchild, A.; Passioura, T.; King, A.; Lai, A.;, Witherington, C.; Rivory, L.
Oligonucleotides, 2008, 18, 257-268.
"N-ras oncogene-induced gene expression in human hematopoietic progenitor cells: upregulation of p16INK4a and p21CIP1/WAF1 correlates with myeloid differentiation"
Shen, S.; Passioura, T.; Symonds, G.; Dolnikov, A.
Experimental Hematology, 2007, 35, 908-919.
"Cytotoxic G-rich oligodeoxynucleotides: putative protein targets and required sequence motif"
Goodchild, A.; King, A.; Gozar, MM.; Passioura, T.; Tucker, C.; Rivory, L.
Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, 35, 4562-4572.
"The role of IRF1 and IRF2 transcription factors in leukaemogenesis"
Choo, A.; Palladinetti, P.; Passioura, T.; Shen, S.; Lock, R.; Symonds, G.; Dolnikov, A.
Current Gene Therapy, 2006, 6, 543-550.
"A retroviral library genetic screen identifies IRF-2 as an inhibitor of N-ras-induced growth suppression in leukemic cells"
Passioura, T.; Shen, S.; Symonds, G.; Dolnikov, A.
Oncogene, 2005, 24, 7327-7336.
"N-ras-induced growth suppression of myeloid cells is mediated by IRF-1"
Passioura, T.; Dolnikov, A.; Shen, S.; Symonds, G.
Cancer Research, 2005, 65, 797-804.
"Mutant N-ras preferentially drives human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells into myeloid differentiation and proliferation both in vitro and in the NOD/SCID mouse"
Shen, SW.; Dolnikov, A.; Passioura, T.; Millington M.; Wotherspoon, S.; Rice, A.; MacKenzie, KL.; Symonds, G.
Experimental Hematology, 2004, 32, 852-860.
"Cancer gene suppression strategies: issues and potential"
Passioura, T.; Symonds, G.
Current Issues in Molecular Biology, 2004, 6, 89-101.
"A sensitive dual-fluorescence reporter system enables positive selection of ras suppressors by suppression of ras-induced apoptosis."
Dolnikov, A.; Shen, S.; Millington, M.; Passioura, T.; Pedler, M.; Rasko JEJ.; Symonds G.
Cancer Gene Therapy, 2003 10, 745-754.
"Bone marrow reconstitution as a relevant model of genetically programmed leukemia"
Dolnikov. A.; Shen, S.; Passioura, T.; Symonds, G.
Current Medicinal Chemistry. Cardiovascular and Hematological Agents, 2003 1, 83-97.