Parasitology

Various kinds of parasites infect humans for long periods of time without killing them, giving rise to tremendous afflictions, social and/or economic loss. We would like to develop deep insight into parasitic diseases and the surrounding factors from various points of view through both field and laboratory studies.
Our goal is to contribute to new knowledge and to provide an enthusiastic environment for the training of the future generation of investigators.

Members

Professor
Shinjiro Hamano
Visiting Professor
Dinesh Mondal
Visiting Professor
Sammy Njenga
Visiting Professor
Abhay Satoskar
Visiting Professor
Makoto Itoh
Assistant Professor
Yoshinori Mitsui
Assistant Professor
Risa Nakamura
Research Fellow
Yuka Tanaka
Technologist
Megumi Hamasaki
Assistant
Hiromi Oda
Assistant
Yasuko Kawabata
Assistant
Chiaki Hisata
Graduate Student
Shumpei Kambe
Graduate Student
Ken-ichi Nobusue
Graduate Student
Mio Tanaka
Graduate Student
Keith Kiplangat Talaam
Graduate Student
Jalal Alshaweesh
Graduate Student
Noriko Kobayashi
Graduate Student
Yuka Yamamoto
Visiting Researcher
Sachiyo Nagi
Visiting Researcher
Evans Asena Chadeka
Visiting Researcher
Mitsuko Hasegawa
Visiting Researcher
Miho Sassa
Visiting Researcher
Shumpei Kambe
Medical Student
Suzuka Sera

Activities

We have been researching parasitic diseases in Mbita and Kwale, Kenya, in cooperation with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Maseno University. In 2021, we started a new project on schistosomiasis with the support from MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A). We also try developing ideal monitoring and diagnostic methods for schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis with the support from Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT). In the laboratory, we maintain Schistosoma mansoni, its intermediate host snail, Brugia malayi, B.pahangi and Aedes aegypti.

We study host defense mechanisms against Leishmania spp and Trypanosoma cruzi, and in the process, have elucidated the function of the IL-12 cytokine family such as IL-27/WSX-1 during infection. We have been developing live attenuated vaccines to leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis by editing genes using CRISPR-Cas9 system with the support from GHIT since 2015 and 2019, respectively. In addition, we developed animal models of intestinal amoebiasis together with Prof. Houpt at University of Virginia, and are devoting ourselves to the study on the molecular basis of pathogenicity of E. histolytica and host defense mechanisms to it.

Recent main research achievement

  1. Tanaka et al. Parasitol Int 2021;doi:10.1016/j.parint.2021.102346
  2. Mukendi JPK et al. Parasit Vectors 2021;14(1):70.
  3. Zhang et al. Nat Commun 2020;11(1):3461.
  4. Nakamura et al. iScience 2020;23(9):1-13.
  5. Sassa et al. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020;14(8).

Achievement list