Current Research and Scholarly Interests
In my undergraduate and graduate school, my research interests are in the development of bloods cells especially immune cells from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). As an undergraduate, I conducted research with Dr. Hitoshi Sakano on elucidating the mechanism of the diversification of the immune receptors in jaw-less animals (more primitive species than fish) such as sea lamprey and hagfish. Sea lamprey and hagfish has different type of immune receptor gene from T-cell receptor (TCR) or Immunoglobulin (Ig), and gene assembly other than V(D)J recombination occurs on the gene for diversifying it. By using immunogenetics, molecular biology, and computational method I uncovered the way for diversifying the immune receptor gene in these species.
I switched my research field to rodents in my former half of Ph.D. course. With Dr. Hiromitsu Nakauchi I focused on generating transplantable HSC from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). I could purify and phenotyped the population which have the capacity for engrafting and repopulating in mouse bone marrow after transplantation. In latter half of Ph.D. course, I combined my knowledge about immunology with HSC induction technique for generating immune cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). I succeeded to obtain abundant and highly functional antigen-specific T cells from human iPSCs, along with rejuvenating the exhausted state by passing through iPSC-reprogramming and redifferentiation.
For research in postdoctoral fellow, I choose to generate 3D organs from human iPSCs. It is very challenging theme but I’m thinking my experiences, knowledge, and techniques in pluripotent stem cells should bear fruit. I continue the T-cell generation research and I’m planning to translate the T-cell products to clinic.