Cell motility team adds 4 at UT Northeast

Published on Saturday, 3 May 2014 19:23 - Written by From Staff Reports

Four members of the research team of internationally known scientist Mitsuo Ikebe, Ph.D., recently joined UT Health Northeast. Ikebe is the new chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology at UT Health.

Researchers are Dr. Toshio Kitazawa, Ph.D.; Dr. Satoshi Komatsu, Ph.D.; Dr. Osamu Sato, Ph.D., and Dr. Tsuyoshi Sakai, Ph.D. All worked with Ikebe before he came to UT Health, when he was with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, Mass.

Ikebe’s team studies cell motility, the ability of a cell and its components to move when stimulated by something outside the cell. This cutting-edge research can be applied to a broad range of medical problems, such as how cancer cells move, how inflammatory cells invade injured tissue, and how these tissues repair themselves.

Before joining UT Health as an assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology, Kitazawa was a senior scientist with the Boston Biomedical Research Institute in Watertown, Mass. He also was an associate professor of physiology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Since 1993, Kitazawa has received more than $6.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, the gold standard in biomedical research funding. He has served as a reviewer on numerous prestigious academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Physiology.

He received his doctorate from the University of Tokyo in Japan in pharmacology, the branch of medicine and biology that studies how drugs work in the body. He has a master’s degree in biophysics from Waseda University School of Science and Engineering in Tokyo.

Komatsu, an assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology, served as a research assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems at UMMS. He also was a research assistant professor and research instructor in the Department of Physiology.

His research into how and why cells move has been supported by grants from the NIH and the American Heart Association.

Komatsu received his doctorate in biological science from Hiroshima University in Higashihiroshima and Hiroshima, Japan. Komatsu completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the UMMS Department of Physiology.

Sato, a research assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology, has a doctorate in pharmacology from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo.

He completed three postdoctoral fellowships under Ikebe’s direction in the UMMS Department of Physiology. In addition, he was an instructor in the UMMS Department of Physiology and its Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems.

Sakai, an instructor of cellular and molecular biology, has a doctorate in bioengineering from Soka University School of Engineering in Tokyo. He was awarded an AHA post-doctoral fellowship. He was a research associate in the UMMS Department of Physiology and its Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems.