Project Leads

Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka (Sierra Leone Project)

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Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; University of Tokyo, Japan

Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka was educated in Japan, receiving his DVM in 1978 and his PhD in 1983 from Hokkaido University. Dr. Kawaoka established the technique of reverse genetics, which allows the generation of ‘designer’ influenza viruses. This technology – coupled with his findings regarding the attenuation of deadly influenza viruses – has been used to develop candidate H5N1 influenza virus vaccines. Reverse genetics is also utilized to generate live attenuated influenza vaccines that are used worldwide. Dr. Kawaoka has also studied the 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which killed over 40 million people. He discovered that infection with this virus caused an abnormal immune response.

In addition to his work with influenza virus, Dr. Kawaoka also studies Ebola virus. Dr. Kawaoka was the first to establish a pseudotype virus system that allows the analysis of Ebola virus glycoprotein under BSL2 conditions. Dr. Kawaoka has also developed another system that allows the study of the entire Ebola virus replication cycle under non-BSL4 conditions.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Kawaoka was awarded the prestigious Robert Koch Award in 2006, and the Medal of Honor (Purple Ribbon) in 2011 and the Japan Academy Award in 2016 from the Emperor of Japan for his innovative research in the field of influenza virology. In 2013, he was elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he received UNESCO Carlos J. Finlay Prize for Microbiology.

Dr. Hiroshi Kiyono (Ghana Surveillance Project)

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Hiroshi Kiyono, DDS, PhD
Professor, University of Tokyo, Japan; University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
Professor and Director, International Research & Development Center for Mucosal Vaccines, IMSUT

Dr. Kiyono obtained his D.D.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Nihon University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) respectively.  Extensive research experience in the field of Mucosal Immunology and Vaccine at UAB, Max-Planck Institute, Osaka University and The University of Tokyo resulted in a total of 511 publications.  He has also served as the Vice Dean and the Dean of the Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo and currently the Director and Professor for the International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccines.  To reflect his scientific contribution, he was listed in ISI Highly Cited Researchers’ List and received several prestigious awards.

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Tsukasa Yoshimura
Chief Producer, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

Yoshimura began his career at Mitsubishi Electric, developing and marketing heating equipment. In 1984, he joined Sony’s computer division, again as a product developer. He then transferred to sales, where he spent six years working in marketing and market entry strategies. In his next position, he reported directly to Sony’s CEO as he planned and promoted system solution products that cut across Sony’s compartmentalized business units, and helped to incubate a networking business. After then working in six different research units he joined Sony CSL, where he proposes and promotes new projects, aiming to bridge the “valley of death” that separates technology innovation and business creation. Yoshimura has worked on the commercialization of 360-degree panoramic imaging, and has designed new semiconductor applications and personal mobility systems. In recent projects in Africa, he has collaborated with JICA to put on renewable energy-powered public viewings of soccer broadcasts, and in their HIV/AIDS and intertribal peace-building initiatives. In connection with his field trials of energy systems aimed at developing countries, Yoshimura gives ten or so lectures and seminars every year.

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Tokiko Watanabe
Project Associate Professor, Division of Virology, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Tokiko Watanabe received her DVM and PhD from the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University. She worked with Prof. Paul Ahlquist at the Institute for Molecular Virology, University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Research Associate from 2002 to 2006, studying virus-host interaction of hepatitis B virus. In 2006, she began working with Prof. Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the Influenza Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as an Assistant Scientist, and moved to his Tokyo lab (The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo) in 2010. Her research interests include the molecular mechanisms for pathogenicity and replication of influenza and Ebola viruses, and the development of vaccines for those viruses.

図3.pngKoichi Shiono
Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC

Koichi Shiono completed his master’s degree at the course of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tokai University in 1992. He joined Sony the same year, where he developed and productized CMOS image sensor. He also designed Micro Camera Modules for Cellular Phones. He is currently engaged in research and develop computer vision technology at Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC.

図4Kojiro Kashiwa
Research Marketing Planner, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

Kojiro Kashiwa received his BS degree at Faculty of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University in 2011. He joined Sony the same year, where he was engaged in accounting, business management at VAIO division, and production and sales management at professional camera division. He is currently engaged in bridging research and marketing at Technology Promotion office of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

6.pngYasuo Egashira
E・HEAD Production

Yasuo Egashira received his BS degree at School of Design, Kyushu Institute of Design in 1979. He joined Sony, where he was engaged in development, planning, sales and authoring service of video & computer products. After leaving Sony in 2006, he started to produce HD images as a freelancer. He currently produces wide variety of video works, technically supporting the video creation by musicians and videographers.

His works have been shown on YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/user/yehead114

7Masaharu Saito
Program Director, The Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD)

Masaharu Saito started his career at JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in1987 after graduation from School of International Politics, Economics and Communication, Aoyama Gakuin University. He worked at Department of Human Development Department and Medical Support Department in the headquarter and at JICA Senegal Office until 1997. After that, he obtained his master’s degree at School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

In 2002, he joined Peace Winds Japan, where he dedicated to the support of people threatened by disaster, conflict, poverty in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Liberia, South Sudan (since before the independence in July 2011), Myanmar, East Timor, Haiti. He was also engaged in the support of disaster victims of the Niigata Chuetsu-oki Earthquake in 2007, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. After

Niger Drought Relief Project in 2012 and Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Project in 2013, Saito was transferred to The Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management in April 2014 and has been assigned as a Program Director since July 2014.

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Makoto Yamashita
Project Professor, Division of Virology, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Makoto Yamashita was educated in Japan, receiving his Ph.D. in inflammation biochemistry in 1983 from the University of Tokyo. After joining the Research Labs, Sankyo Co., Ltd. in 1983, he began to specialize in influenza virology as a visiting scientist, and then as an assistant professor from 1986 to 1989 under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Palese at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. He returned to Sankyo Co., Ltd. in 1989, where he focused his research on antivirals and anti-allergy compounds. He made a major contribution to the discovery of laninamivir octanoate (Inavir®), a long-acting neuraminidase inhibitor of influenza virus that was launched in 2010. He left the company in 2013 and joined The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, where he continues his basic research on virology.

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Satoshi Fukuyama
Project Associate Professor, Division of Virology, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Satoshi Fukuyama received his MD and PhD from the Department of Otolaryngology, Kagoshima University. From 2005 to 2007, he studied mucosal immunology as a JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo. From 2007 to 2009, he analyzed the immunological function of the TNF superfamily at the Division of Molecular Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (San Diego, CA). Since 2010, he has been focusing on analyzing host responses to influenza virus infection and the development of live imaging systems for studying animals infected with influenza viruses at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo.

Ghanaian Side:

図2Prof. William Ampofo
Senior Research Fellow, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
Ph.D. at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
Ambassador for Ghana of the American Society for Microbiology

Prof. Ampofo’s career milestones include the laboratory that discovered the first Ghanaian case of HIV in 1986, first isolation of wild type poliovirus in Ghana, confirmation of first cases in 2007 of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus in Ghanaian poultry and establishment of the National Influenza Centre in Ghana 2007. He also supervised the laboratory detection (December 2011) of the first ever cases of Lassa fever virus infection in humans and rodents in Ghana. His research interests include molecular and serological investigations of viruses, prevention of viral infections, anti-viral therapy and viral disease.

In recognition of his significant contribution towards the establishment of surveillance for influenza in Ghana, Prof.  Ampofo was awarded a United States (US) Department of Defense – Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response program Medal of Achievement for his work on HIV Drug Resistance, Laboratory Quality and Pandemic Influenza. He also served internationally on temporary assignments with the World Health Organization (WHO), Commonwealth Secretariat Health Division, US Department of Defense, German International Development Agency and the US Agency for International Development.

In 2010, he was appointed as a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group for Influenza vaccines and Immunization. Since October 2011, he is one of three African region representatives serving on the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Advisory Group. August 2012, he was also appointed by the WHO Director-General to a new two year membership of the Global Action Plan Advisory Group for Influenza Vaccines.

Dr-BekoeDr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe
Public Health Specialist, the Public Health Division of Ghana Health Service
Fellow, the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Faculty of Public Health

Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe is a medical doctor and a Public Health Physician with specialization in Applied Epidemiology and Disease Control. He has been a public health practitioner for the past 13 years with competencies in surveillance, field investigations, research, data management, scientific communication and teaching. He was a consultant for World Health Organization and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Global Program for the Eradication of Polio in Afghanistan in 2010. He has been a facilitator at the Ghana College of Physicians at the Faculty of Public Health since 2012 and a national facilitator on the Malaria Drug Policy and a fellow of Malaria Vaccine Advocacy. He has been involved in assessment of programs including Guinea Worm and Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness and Response, the lead investigator in several outbreaks including cholera, yellow fever, meningitis, was a member of the team that investigated the First Lassa Fever cases in Ghana, and currently a member of the National Technical Coordinating Committee on Ghana’s Ebola Preparedness and Response.

Prof. Bosompen.jpgProf. Kwabena Mante Bosompem
Director, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana

Prof. Bosompem served as a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Task Force on African Trypanosomiasis, and also served as a member of the Editorial Board of “Parasitology International”. He has lectured in Applied Parasitology, Microbiology/Immunology and Veterinary Microbiology at universities including the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands. He has over 70 publications in International Journals and contributed to pioneering work on toxoplasmosis and biomining.

He has been the Chairman of the Research Board of the College of Health Sciences (comprised of the University of Ghana Medical and Dental School, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences). He was a member of the Board of the National Biosafety Authority of Ghana, a member of Ghana’s Committee for implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNHCR) 1540 on Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials, the National President of the Ghana Red Cross Society. He is the Team Leader of the Sub-committee on – Biological non-proliferation; a member of CBRN Centres of Excellence “Project 17” for “Establishing a national response plan in Ghana and Kenya for responding to unauthorized events involving CBRN” and the Founder of Community Directed Development Foundation (CDDF).

図1Prof. Kwadwo Koram
The previous Director, The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
The chair of the Inter Agency Committee on Malaria Control

Prof. Koram graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School in 1982 and worked as a medical officer in Bawku Hospital, a rural and deprived community of the country after house job at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.  At Bawku, his interest in public health and epidemiology was kindled by having witnessed a large proportion of children died from infectious diseases such as malaria and measles without adequate treatment and preventive tools as well as effective vaccinations.

After obtaining Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1993, he worked as a research fellow at NMIMR with focus on malaria, measles and Buruli Ulcer.  He has undertaken several large immune-epidemiological studies on malaria in Ghana and conducted field trials of new interventions including clinical trials.

He conducted the pivotal studies that provided the evidence to change in the anti-malaria treatment policy in the country in 2005 and served as the chair of the Task Force for antimalarial treatment policy of the National Malaria Control Program. He has since then continued with therapeutic efficacy studies for the new ACTs.  He also serves on several international advisory boards including the IDMC for the first large scale trial of the malaria vaccine, RTS,S.

図1.pngDr. Badu Sarkodie
Deputy Director (PH) and Head, Disease Surveillance Department of Ghana Health Service
Medical Doctor (MB.Ch.B./UG, Accra)
Master of Science Degree in Epidemiology from University of London (MSc Epid/ LSHTM)
Public Health Specialist and Physician Epidemiologist
Member of Ghana College of Physicians (Public Health Faculty)

Dr. Sarkodie has a strong background in Public Health, Research and Clinical. His main objective is prevention and control, epidemiology of infectious/communicable diseases, non-communicable disease control and has special interest in the practice of disease surveillance. Contributed in a number of outbreak investigation, scientific studies and publications.

図1Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu
The Head of Bacteriology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Ph.D. at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel in 2006

Prof. Yeboah-Manu, a Fellow of the Wellcome Trust, a medical microbiologist is actively involved in the World Bank Centre of Excellence Program at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana. She is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the WHO Global Network of Laboratories Confirming Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection (Buruli ulcer) and steering committee member for the National Buruli Ulcer Control Program and the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the National Tuberculosis Program.

She has worked on a number of bacterial diseases including diarrhoea but focuses on host and pathogen interactions, diagnosis and molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis and Mycobacterium ulcerans disease (Buruli ulcer). She was the first to describe genetic polymorphism in M. ulcerans isolates from a distinct African Country and also demonstrated for the first time that systemic reduction in IFN-gamma responses observed in Buruli ulcer (BU) patients is not the consequence of a genetic defect in T cell function predisposing for BU but is rather related to the presence of M. ulcerans bacteria. She also led a team of researchers that provided plausible evidence for the restriction of Mycobacterium africanum to West-Africa.

Japanese Side:

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Dr. Motoi Adachi
JICA Long Term Expert for Surveillance
Associate professor
Medical Education, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine

Dr. Adachi gradated Mie University School of Medicine in 1992. He started hic carrier in international health with JICA Maternal and Child Health Project, Tanzania in 1995. He obtained PhD at Mie University Graduate School of Medicine on tropical infectious diseases. He also studied polio eradication initiative as Takemi fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 1998 and worked for Polio and Filaria Eradication Programs in Bangladesh since 2000.  

He has dedicated himself to establish a sustainable system in providing Maternal and Child Services in a rural part of Japan and has worked as a pediatrician. He recently worked for WPRO and responded MERS outbreak in Korea in 2015.

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Prof. Hiroki Hori
Vice President, Mie University, Japan
Professor, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine

Prof. Hori graduated from Mie University Faculty of Medicine in 1984 and obtained PhD degree at Mie University Graduate School of Medicine in 1990. He joined JICA projects at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana between 1990 and 1993, and at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania in 2005. Currently, he is in the positions of Vice President for International Relations, the director of Center for International Education and Research and the director of Medical and Nursing Education at Mie University.

His academic backgrounds are Pediatrics, Hematology, Oncology and Medical Education.  Between 1994 and 1996, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at University of California at San Diego, USA. He has produced some prominent scientific papers on international collaborative studies.

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Dr. Koichi Ishikawa
Senior Researcher, National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Ishikawa obtained his D.V.M and Ph.D degrees at University of Tokyo in 1985 and 1988 respectively.

He has been involved in simian/human virology research, especially STLV/HTLV and SIVs/HIVs in Asia and Africa.  Since 1984, he has been collaborating with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of Ghana, and discovered the first Ghanaian case of HIV and HIV-2 isolation in 1986 and 1987 respectively.

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Dr. Aya Ishizaka
Project Researcher, Division of Mucosal Barriology, International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Ishizaka received her Ph.D. in science for her study of transcriptional regulation of HIV from The University of Tokyo in 2012. After moving to the Institute of Microbial Chemistry, Tokyo, she worked on basic research of HIV latency and identified prematurely terminated short HIV transcripts as an efficient intracellular biomarker to monitor viral persistence and immune status in patients. In 2017, she moved back to The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, where she belongs to the research project of surveillance in Ghana, coordinated by Prof. Kiyono, and studies on gut microbiome profiles on Ghanaian patients with HIV.

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Dr. Koji Kashima
Cooperative Researcher, The Division of Mucosal Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Kashima received his Ph.D. degree at Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, The University of Tokyo in 2007. He had worked with Japan’s national research project focused on the plant biotechnology and the plant factory as a postdoctoral researcher in Chiba University for 4 years. He then joined Asahikogyosha, Co., Ltd. and has been working together with Prof. Kiyono’s laboratory to research the optimal environment for the production of MucoRice™, a rice-based oral mucosal vaccine.

2Prof. Tetsuro Matano
Professor, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Director, AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Prof. Matano obtained MD at Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo in 1985, and worked as an Orthopedic Surgeon for five years. He obtained PhD (Doctor of Medical Science) at Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo in 1994. He started his study on HIV-host interaction using monkey AIDS models at NIAID, NIH, and presented crucial evidence indicating the importance of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses in immunodeficiency virus control.

He has been a Professor at Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo since 2006 and the Director at AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases since 2010. He has been working on the immune mechanism for HIV/SIV control in a unique AIDS model using MHC-defined rhesus macaques and developed a novel CTL-based HIV vaccine system using Sendai viral vectors. The recent phase I clinical trial in Rwanda, Kenya and U.K. in collaboration with International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and ID Pharma has confirmed its safety and immunogenicity.

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Ms. Sumiko Koga

Project Coordinator, Project for Surveillance and Laboratory Support for Emerging Pathogens c/o Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana

Ms. Koga obtained her MBA in health planning and management from Keele University, United Kingdom.  Her carrier of international cooperation started in Tanzania in 1995 as a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert on community participation in Malaria Control.  Later she has been involved in various health projects in the African country (Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana) for 14 years.  She also worked as project/program formulation specialist in health sector at Japan Bank for International Cooperation for three years.

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Prof. Koichi Matsuda
Professor, Laboratory of Clinical Genome Sequencing, Department of Computational biology and medical Sciences, Graduate school of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Matsuda obtained M.D. in 1994 and Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Tokyo. He conducted extensive research in molecular genetics of cancer and infectious diseases and revealed the interaction of host genetics factor and environmental factors including pathogenic microorganism by using comprehensive genome-wide screening approach. He also organizes one of the largest patient-oriented biobank containing more than 260,000 DNA and Serum of patients with 51 common diseases.

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Dr. Taketoshi Mizutani
Assistant Professor (Project), Division of Mucosal Barriology, International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Mizutani received his Ph.D. degree at The University of Tokyo in 2004. His research interest is host factors that affect HIV transcriptional initiation. In addition to his work with HIV, he also interests in medical engineering with the viral infectivity. He has been engaging in the development for the drug delivery system using Poliovirus capsid proteins and found some functional peptides from the virus. He is aiming to establish practical application of this technologies. In 2017, he joined the research project for HIV and microbiota in Ghana and has been studying on the relationship between HIV pathogenesis and gut microbiome profiles on Ghanaian patients with HIV. His blissful time is to play tennis on his day off.

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Dr. Kiyosu Taniguchi
Director, Department of Clinical Research, National Mie Hospital

Dr. Taniguchi graduated from the School of Medicine at National Mie University in 1984, and had been trained and worked as a pediatrician at several hospitals for 15 years. Between 1992 and 1995, he experienced the international collaboration project in Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana supported by JICA.

In 1996, he joined the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Tokyo, Japan and engaged in national infectious disease surveillance and response. In 2000, he was dispatched to WHO/HQ/CDS/CSR and worked for international infectious disease surveillance and control program including GOARN and IHR.  After coming back to NIID as the head of 1st division, Infectious Disease Surveillance Center, NIID, he responded to the many infectious disease outbreaks including SARS, pandemic 2009 and so on.

In 2013, he left NIID and started working in clinical practice as a pediatrician at the current institution, and he continues to work in the research field on vaccine preventable diseases, surveillance and epidemiology of infectious diseases. He also contributes to the Pandemic Preparedness Committee of the Ministry of Heath, Labour and Welfare as a committee member and the expert panel on Pandemic Response of Cabinet’s Office.\

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Prof. Satoshi Uematsu
Professor of Department of Mucosal Immunology, School of Medicine, Chiba University
Professor of Division of Innate Immune Regulation, International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccines, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Uematsu obtained PhD degree at Osaka University, Postgraduate School of Medicine.  His research has been focused on analysis of innate immune cells and innate immune receptors in small intestine. He also analyzed the function of Toll-like receptor family members in various intestinal inflammation and showed that Toll-like receptor 3 is critically involved in acute radiation injury in intestine. This discovery showed the clue of new therapeutics for acute radiation syndrome.

He has published more than 150 peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. His research has been well supported by grants from various private and government funding agencies, including the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). He serves on several national and international peer review panels and as a reviewer for various scientific publications. He is a member of Japanese Society for Immunology, The Japanese Society of Mucosal Immunology and an executive board member of The Japanese Society of Lymphology.