Personal profile


Dr Yamakawa is an experienced postdoctoral researcher / neuroscientist in the Monash Trauma Group. Dr Yamakawa conducted his higher degree qualifications in Canada in the area of psychology and is now an emerging researcher with a strong passion in neuroscience, in particular neurotrauma and circadian rhythms.

He uses animal models, behavioural techniques and stereotaxic surgery to study circadian rhythms and the immune system in the context of mild traumatic brain injury. His research will look to help understand why circadian difficulties such as insomnia are common following these injuries and how recovery can be promoted to enable an improved quality of life.

Previously, he has gained skills in teaching and working in the higher education sector in Canada. He mentors young students, has co-supervised four Honours students (one as primary supervisor) and three HDR students to completion with one completing in 2024.

He is a past collaborator of a multi-centre study on post-traumatic epilepsy, EpiBios4Rx, a study which aimed to develop clinical trials of antiepileptogenic therapies. (funded through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). He is an active member of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN).

In 2022, he received the inaugural grant for “The Pitch” through the Gastroenterology, Immunology and Neuroscience (GIN) Discovery program’s ($25,000) with co-investigator Dr Aidil Zaini (Department of Immunology) to determine whether modifying the feeding regime can promote a healing response to reduce concussion-induced inflammation in both the brain and the gut.

He has a leadership role in the department as the chair of the weekly department research groups meeting. In this role, he communicates important updates and relevant information to members, to enable an environment of learning, collegiality, equity, openness and community.

He was an invited speaker at the Australian Pain Society’s topical session on Sleep and Pain in 2023. This year he received “Best data blitz presentation” at the GIN Discovery Program symposium.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), The tuberomammillary nucleus is not necessary for the expression of food anticipatory activity, Simon Fraser University

Psychology, Masters of Science, Serotonergic Modulation of Circadian Phase, University of Calgary

Psychology, Doctorate of Philosophy, The role of arousal related neurotransmitters in non-photic phase shifting, University of Calgary

Research area keywords

  • Concussion
  • Circadian Rhythms
  • Light
  • Neuropathology
  • Neurotrauma
  • Clock Genes

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or