Ono Lab

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry



The Ono laboratory uses genetically engineered mice to study the fundamental biology of stem and progenitor cells of the bone cell lineage in growth, development and homeostasis.

The three major focuses of the laboratory are: the growth cartilage, craniofacial bones and bone marrow stromal cells.

ono lab group photo


noriaki ono

Noriaki Ono, DDS, PhD
Associate Professor

noriono@umich.edu | 734-647-8450


2003 – DDS, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2007 – PhD, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2009 – Clinical fellow (Orthodontics), Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2012 – Research fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital


2012-2014 – Instructor, Massachusetts General Hospital
2014-2020 – Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Dentistry
2020-present - Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Dentistry


I am originally from Tokyo, Japan, and my family has a strong background in dentists and orthodontists. When I was in high school I wanted to become a journalist, but as is often the case for someone who grew up in a dental milieu, I ended up entering a dental school (in Japan, the decision comes at the age of 18).

Six years in Tokyo Medical and Dental University gave me a whole new world. I liked basic science courses, rather than plaster or acrylic work. I enjoyed interactions with prominent scientists there (most of whom also had dental degrees, amazingly). I was inspired by their careers. After dental school, I decided to stay and pursue the combined orthodontic certificate and PhD program in the same school (which is not an uncommon choice for fresh graduates from Japanese dental schools).

I never lost my enthusiasm for science, and fortunately, my professor of orthodontics supported my endeavor (in Japanese dental schools, ‘professor’ means more than just an academic rank) without strapping me too much onto the program. He gave me the freedom to invest myself into science. I literally spent days and nights in my research mentor’s lab (and mouse rooms). I met with people from much more diverse backgrounds than I could simply as an orthodontic resident.

Four years in the lab transformed my career and life. Soon, I was looking for an opportunity to do a postdoc in a good lab. I luckily received a research fellowship grant from Japan, and made it to Massachusetts General Hospital. Five years there were just amazing. My mentor, Hank, gave me the freedom to think and do, and was always there for help. I could get a number of outstanding opportunities thanks to his support. After a long endeavor, I finally earned this job as a principal investigator in this prominent research university. And I feel that this chance didn’t come just as a coincidence – this opportunity was gradually ‘built up’ after years of getting to know more and more people.

I could have never been here without tremendous support from my mentors. Everyone is connected, and everything happening to my career has an implication. I’ve been basically a city dweller for most of my life – but I really enjoy countryside life style here in Ann Arbor. I’m learning a lot from being a first-time lab director, homeowner and parent.


View the complete listing of publications.


Yuki Matsushita, DDS, PhD

Yuki Matsushita, DDS, PhD

Research Fellow



2007 - DDS, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2013 - PhD, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2013 - Assistant Professor in Clinical Oral Oncology, Nagasaki University
2015 - Research Fellow, University of Michigan School of Dentistry


I am Yuki from Japan. I earned my DDS and PhD degrees from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. My clinical specialty is oral surgery. For me, basic science is as important as clinical work for my career. I am interested in bone biology such as bone formation and regeneration, and cancer metastasis (invasion of cancer cells) to bone. I want to pursue new and exciting findings in Ono lab.

I will enjoy my new life with my family in Ann Arbor for the next few years.

Michael Fogge, DDS

Michael Fogge, DDS

Graduate Student - MS Candidate



I earned a BS in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and a DDS from Columbia University in 2017. I am currently an Orthodontic resident.

My research experiences include patterns of mRNA splicing in viral infection, use of gold nanoparticles for gene therapy, and most recently fabrication of 3D-printed scaffolding combined with stem cells for osseous tissue regeneration. In my free time, I enjoy woodworking and building furniture, as well as experimenting with French and Asian cooking.

shawn hallett

Shawn Hallett

DDS/PhD Student



2016 - BS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
2018 - Research Technician II, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine
2025 - DDS/PhD, Expected graduation from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry


I am interested in combining my clinical dental training with basic science research in order to move the field of dentistry forward. My research interests include identifying the molecular pathways that are active throughout skeletal development, growth and regeneration. I am very excited to have the opportunity to pursue my scientific training with Dr. Ono and my exceptional labmates. Apart from conducting research, I spend my time training for marathons, cooking, traveling and relaxing with friends and family.

naoko sakagami

Naoko Sakagami, DDS, PhD

Research Fellow



2008 – DDS, Niigata University
2012 – PhD, Niigata University
2015 – Clinical fellow (Oral Surgery), Niigata University
2015 – Research fellow, University of Michigan School of Dentistry


I am from Niigata, a coastal city in northern Japan. I graduated from Niigata University School of Dentistry in 2008 and earned my DDS degree. My specialty is Oral surgery, and I received my PhD degree from Niigata University in 2012. I worked as a clinical fellow of oral surgery for two years at Niigata General Hospital and Niigata University hospital. I started my research on bone biology in the Ono lab at the University of Michigan in April 2015. My hobby is running marathons. I love jogging in the morning on weekends.


Koji Mizuhashi, DDS, PhD (2019)

Sarah Syklawer, DMD, MS (2017)

Julia Jeong Kim, DMD, MS (2019)



Ono Lab
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
DENT 5204
1011 N University Ave,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109