Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

Prof. Yukio Ago

【Research Keyword】
Psychiatric Disorders, Developmental Disorders, Brain Function, Gene-Environment Interactions, Animal Models, Pharmacotherapy

【Recent highlights】
● New insight into how de novo mutations on high-confidence autism spectrum disorder genes lead to impaired mature cortical network function (Collaborative research, published in Nature Communications 2020).
●(S)-ketamine metabolites represent safe alternative antidepressants with high potency (Collaborative research, published in Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior 2020).
●The anticonvulsant drug valproic acid enhances the anti-cancer activity of an anti-PD-1 antibody (Collaborative research, published in OncoImmunology 2020).

Profiles of Faculty and Research Scholars

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs affect living organisms. Dental students study the interactions between living organisms and drugs to learn the necessary medicine for dental care, basic drug education for general disease and treatment, and medical therapy useful in clinical cases.

We are working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and neural circuits underlying complex brain function, mental illness, and pharmacotherapy. To understand CNS diseases caused by gene-environment interactions, we are conducting research using experimental models from cells to animals.

  1. Studies on the mechanisms of action of the drugs in depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases.
  2. Studies on the roles of gene-environment interactions in brain development.
  3. Studies on the roles of cell migration, adhesion, and proliferation in biological and pathological processes.