Prof. Kazunori Imaizumi

【Research Keyword】
Endoplasmic reticulum stress, Unfolded protein response, Stress response, Biochemistry, Cell biology, Molecular biology, Neurodegenerative disorder, Skeletal diseases

【Recent highlights】
Unfolded protein response (UPR) has been thought as a relief system from endoplasmic reticulum stress. However, our research has proved that UPR signaling is essential for differentiation and correct function of cell in various tissues such as nerve system, bone, cartilage, intestine, etc. Since then, we have continued to disclose the new roles and importance of UPR in the body. Recently, UPR is revealed to concern the cellular proliferation and metabolism and suggested therapeutic potential to treat cancer and obesity.

Profiles of Faculty and Research Scholars

(Faculty of Medicine) We take charge of lectures and experimental practices in the 2nd year. The goal of our class is to understand biochemistry and cell biology. In experimental practices, students learn the methods of biochemical experiments which are important in the medical research they progress in future. The 4th year students join laboratory works for 4 months to experience cutting edge researches. In the end of period, students present their research.

(Graduate school) Students independently progress their project discussing with a principal investigator. We aim to bring up outstanding researchers who can take an active part in worldwide basic medical research field. Therefore, we emphasize the suggestion by students based on research results and their logical thinking. In addition, we proactively give students opportunities to present their research in the conference of Japan or USA.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a central cellular organelle that is responsible for synthesis, folding, and modification of secretory and transmembrane proteins. Various genetic and environmental insults lead to the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the ER lumen. These conditions, collectively termed ER stress, have the potential to induce cellular damage and cell death. Cells are equipped with a system, known as the unfolded protein response (UPR), that prevents the cellular damage and death induced by ER stress. We investigate the detailed signaling pathway and activation mechanisms of UPR, and how the failure of UPR causes various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, and metabolic diseases.

【Photo explanation】We have a lab seminar once a week. It is constituted of journal club and progress report.