Immunology and Cell Biology

Immunology constitutes an essential part in almost every field of modern medicine, and understanding of immune mechanisms has greatly contributed to the medical progress in many aspects. However, major immunological issues remain to be unveiled, and immunology continues to be one of the most mysterious and challenging fields in modern biology and medicine. Research efforts in our laboratory are focused on understanding the central issues in immunology, including the development of immune cells and tissues, mechanisms of tumor immunity, autoimmunity and leukemia development.

Research and Education

Current major research activities in the laboratory are focused on two aspects; first, understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of normal immune system and elucidating how dysregulation of normal development leads to life-threatening diseases such as autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiency and leukemia; second, understanding of the mechanisms of possible immune surveillance against autonomously arising malignant cells and applying the principles for effectively controlling human cancer. We are studying these crucial issues with the use of feasible animal models including gene-engineered animals in close conditions to “reality” as much as possible. Our key word is “nature, but not we, decides the way to go”.
This laboratory is primarily responsible for the education of Immunology for both undergraduate and graduate students. There are many graduate students at the PhD course, including foreign students from France, India and China, and they are included in several specific research projects under the direct instruction of 4 faculty staff members. All the students are expected to present their research progress at the regular English-based laboratory meetings.

r-010-1Cover page of Cancer Cell 2003
2015 HP 湊研集合写真Laboratory members

Recent Publications

  1. Doi.K., Imai, T., Yagita, H., Agata, Y., Vooijs, M., Inoue, J., and Minato, N. Role of the Rap signal in Notch activation of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sci.Rep. 5: 7978, 2015.
  2. Sekai, M., Hamazaki, Y. and Minato, N. Medullary thymic epithelial stem cells ensuring lifelong central T-cell tolerance. Immunity 13: 753-761, 2014.
  3. Minato, N. Rap G protein signal in normal and disordered lymphohematopoiesis. (Review article) Exp. Cell Res. 319: 2323-2328, 2013.
  4. Kawai. K. Hamazaki, Y., Fujita, H., Fujita, A., Sato, T., Moriwaki, K., Furuse, M. , Fujimoto, T., Agata, Y. and Minato, N. Claudin-4 is induced in thymocytes of late CD4/CD8 double positive stage by E2A and promotes T cell receptor–mediated positive selection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 108: 4075-4080, 2011.
  5. Shimatani, K., Nakashima, Y., Hattori, M., Hamazaki, Y., and Minato, N. Memory phenotype PD-1+ CD4+ T cells expressing C/EBP underlie T cell immunodepression in senescence and leukemia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106: 15807-15812, 2009.

Immunology and Cell Biology

Assistant Professor: Miho Sekai