Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy

kao Taira Maekawa M.D., D.Med. Sci. btn

Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy
Along with the rapid progress of cell and molecular biology, our department has a task to develop innovative and translational cell therapy, regenerative therapy, and molecular target therapy for hematological disorders and other malignancies. Not only to pursue the safety and the efficiency of transfusion practice in the hospital, but we supply purified hematopoietic stem cells and well-manufactured tissues/cells to clinical settings for stem cell transplantations and novel cell therapy or regenerative therapy. This department has a pivotal role in the development of advanced cell therapy and translational research at Kyoto University Hospital.

Research and Education

Recently we have successfully performed allogeneic pancreatic islet cell transplantation to a patient with severe type I diabetes from a related living donor for the first time in the world. This procedure is now routinely performed using grafts obtained from non-heart beating and brain-death donors. We have also developed the regenerative therapy for aseptic bone necrosis using cultured mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Qualified cells for such therapeutics including stem cell transplantation are prepared at the cell processing center (center for cell and molecular therapy, CCMT) in the hospital. For basic research, we are currently working on the following projects; a) development of a novel molecular target therapy to eliminate leukemic stem cells hibernated in the hypoxic niche, b) basic research to elucidate the transcriptional system regulating normal and leukemic hematopoiesis, and c) translational research to expand hematopoietic stem cells using pharmacologically stimulated MSCs. All of these projects are especially focused on the development of novel therapeutics for incurable diseases. Young investigators and graduate students with curious and challenging mind in such exciting fields are always very welcome.


①Regulation of hematopoiesis (upper) and mesenchymal stromal cells (lower)


②Members of the departments

Recent Publications

1. Hayashi Y, Hirai H, Kamio N, Yao H, Yoshioka S, Miura Y, Ashihara E, Fujiyama Y, Tenen DG, Maekawa T. C/EBPβ promotes BCR/ABL-mediated myeloid expansion and leukemic stem cell exhaustion. Leukemia, 27(3):619-28, 2013.
2. Hirai H, Kamio N, Huang G, Matsusue A, Ogino S, Kimura N, Satake S, Ashihara E, Imanishi J, Tenen DG, Maekawa T. CREBs are involved in ‘emergency’ granulopoiesis through upregulation of C/EBPβPLos One, 8(1):e54862, 2013.
3. Satake S, Hirai H, Nobuaki S, Hayashi Y, Miura Y, Inaba T, Fujita N, Ashihara E, Imanishi J, Sawa T, Maekawa T. C/EBPβ is involved in the amplification of early granulocyte precursors during candidemia-induced ‘emergency’ granulopoiesis. J Immunol 189(9):4546-55, 2012.
4. Yao H, Ashihara E, Strovel JW, Nakagawa Y, Kuroda J, Nagao R, Tanaka R, Yokota A, Takeuchi M, Sakai K, Shimazaki C, Taniwaki M, Strand K, Padia J, Hirai H, Kimura S, Maekawa T. A novel Wnt/β-catenin signal inhibitor successfully suppresses progression of multiple myeloma in a mouse model. Blood Cancer Journal, 1:e43, 2011.
5. Tanaka R, Squires MS, Kimura S, Yokota A, Mallet K, Smyth T, Thompson NT, Nagao R, Yamauchi T, Ashihara E, Ottmann OG, Lyons JF, Maekawa T. Activity of the multi-targeted kinase inhibitor, AT9283, in imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL positive leukemic cells. Blood, 116(12):2089-95, 2010.

Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy

Professor: Taira Maekawa
Senior Lecturer: Hideyo Hirai
Assistant Professor: Yasuo Miura