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Koichi Sakakura, MD, PhD graduated Gunma University School of Medicine and registered as MD in 1999. He started his carrier as a physician scientist in the field of otology at first in Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine after 2-year residency. Then his research interest shifted to cancer immunology, and he earned PhD degree in 2005. Until 2007, he had published several articles about cancer immunology with Dr. Chikamatsu in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC): dendritic cells (DC) and NK cells in sentinel lymph nodes, DC maturation and T-cell subsets in circulation of HNC patients, induction of p53 antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell (CTL) response from HNC patients, and immunological characteristics of cancer stem cell. Dr. Sakakura moved to University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, PA, USA in 2007, worked in Drs. T.L. Whiteside’s and A.B. DeLeo’s labs, and involved in T-cell apoptosis and dendritic cell vaccine. Then he transferred to Drs. S. Ferrone’s and X. Wang’s lab in UPCI to engage in antigen machinery and tumor antigen presentation in cancer cells until 2010. He was named as a co-author in various high impact journals as Journal of National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research. He returned to Japan as a chief surgeon of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in National Hospital Organization Shizuoka Medical Center, and awarded National Grant-in Aid for Young Scientist for the development of cancer immunotherapy utilizing antigen presentation by autophagy. Dr. Sakakura was engaged as an assistant professor in 2012, and has been as an associate professor since 2016 in Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine. His current interest in cancer immunology is dynamics of myeloid cells in tumor microenvironments and systemic circulation in patients with HNC. He has published over 40 scientific papers to date mainly in tumor immunology area, including Laboratory Investigation and Cancer Science as a corresponding author, and was recently awarded Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research to elucidate monocyte subsets in HNC patients. His subspecialty except head and neck surgery is swallowing disorder, and he is a founder and a chief of Swallow Support Team in Gunma University Hospital. He is a member of American Association for Cancer Research, American Thyroid Association, American Head and Neck Society and Dysphagia Research Society; and join over 20 editorial boards of international medical journals. In addition, he has a lot of experience of oriental medicine using Kampo drugs over 15 years.
Current interest in cancer immunology is dynamics of myeloid cells in tumor microenvironments and systemic circulation in patients with HNC.
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