Respiratory Medicine

Toyohiro Hirai M.D.,Ph.D

Respiratory diseases have marked variability such as obstructive airway diseases, interstitial lung diseases, thoracic malignancy, respiratory infection, sleep disorders and respiratory insufficiency. We are energetically engaged in the study of all these diseases. In the 21st century, the concept “physiome”, which means that the integration of the achievement of molecular-cell biology form the view point of organ biology, will be more important. We hope we can create a new world of respiratory medicine based on “physiome”.

Research and Education

Our clinical, educational and research activities are performed on six categories; COPD, asthma / chronic cough, interstitial pulmonary disease, lung cancer, respiratory infectious diseases and iPS.
We evaluate the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of COPD investigating both the human clinical study and the genetically modified mice experiments to develop new treatment.
Asthma, chronic cough
The pathogenesis of asthma including airway inflammation and remodeling are studied. Molecular phenotyping analysis is applied. Susceptibility to cough variant asthma is also investigated.
Interstitial lung diseases (interstitial pneumonia and sarcoidosis)
The mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis are investigated from the view point of genetics, molecular biology and morphology.
Thoracic malignancy (lung cancer, mediastinal tumor, mesothelioma)
Clinical trials for lung cancer are now underway. The mechanism of drug resistance is also investigated.
Respiratory infectious diseases
Multicenter-based researches on community-acquired and healthcare-associated pneumonias, and clinico-epidemiology on pneumococcal diseases and non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases are underway.
Application of iPS cell technologies for lung research
By generating lung cells from human iPS cells, we study lung regeneration and disease modeling.


1.Human iPS cell-derived multiciliated airway cells form cyst-like structure with apical surface facing the lumen. FOXJ1 (red), cilia (Green) and nuclei (blue).
Konishi S, et al. Directed induction of functional multi-ciliated cells in proximal airway epithelial spheroids from human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports. 2016; 6: 18-25.

2.We assessed lung and around structures using original software to analyze CT images.

Recent Publications

  1. Tanimura K, Sato S, Fuseya Y, Hasegawa K, Uemasu K, Sato A, Oguma T, Hirai T, Mishima M, Muro S. Quantitative Assessment of Erector Spinae Muscles in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Novel Chest Computed Tomography-derived Index for Prognosis. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Mar;13(3):334-41. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201507-446OC.
  2. Kanemitsu Y., Matsumoto H., Izuhara K., Tohda Y., Kita H., Horiguchi T., Kuwabara K., Tomii K., Otsuka K., Fujimura M., Ohkura N., Tomita K., Yokoyama A., Ohnishi H., Nakano Y., Oguma T., Hozawa S., Nagasaki T., Ito I., Inoue H., Tajiri T., Iwata T., Izuhara Y., Ono J., Ohta S., Tamari M., Hirota T., Yokoyama T., Niimi A. and Mishima M. Increased periostin associates with greater airflow limitation in patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013, 132:305-12 e3
  3. Tanizawa K, Handa T, Nakashima R, Kubo T, Hosono Y, Watanabe K, Aihara K, Ikezoe K, Sokai A, Nakatsuka Y, Taguchi Y, Hatta K, Noma S, Kobashi Y, Yoshizawa A, Oga T, Hirai T, Chin K, Nagai S, Izumi T, Mimori T, Mishima M. The long-term outcome of interstitial lung disease with anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase antibodies. Respir Med. 2017; 127: 57-64.
  4. Nagai H, Yasuda H, Hatachi Y, et al. Nitric oxide (NO) enhances pemetrexed cytotoxicity via NO cGMP signaling in lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol. 2012;41(1):24-30
  5. Ito I, et al. Isolation of drug-resistant pathogens does not always require use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014;189:756-7.

Respiratory Medicine

Professor: Toyohiro Hirai
Associate Professor: Hisako Matsumoto, Tomohiro handa, Shinpei Goto
Senior Lecturer: Isao Ito
Assistant Professor: Kim Younghhak, Susumu Sato, Atsuyasu Sato, Kizuku Watanabe, Tsuyoshi Oguma, Kiminobu Tanizawa, Hiroaki Ozasa, Naoya Tanabe, Yuuichi Sakamori, Satoshi hamada
TEL: +81-75-751-3830
FAX: +81-75-751-4643