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Synthetic Biology Division
Masamitsu Kanada is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. His research focuses on addressing questions in cancer biology using multidisciplinary approaches.
In graduate school, Dr. Kanada studied cell biology and fluorescence live cell imaging at Tsukuba University in Japan. After completing his Ph.D., he worked for a pharmaceutical company developing cancer therapies. During his postdoc training, Dr. Kanada learned intravital microscopy and whole body preclinical imaging in the laboratories of Susumu Terakawa at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine and Christopher Contag at Stanford University.
Dr. Kanada ‘s lab is focused on understanding and controlling extracellular vesicle-mediated cancer-host crosstalk in the body.
In the tumor microenvironment, populations of genetically and epigenetically diverse cancer cells interact with stromal cells such as fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and infiltrating immune cells in cancer progression. Recent studies have revealed that cancer-associated extracellular vesicles (EVs) have key roles in angiogenesis induction, control of cellular invasion, initiation of pre-metastatic niches, maintenance of inflammation, and evasion of immune surveillance through cell-to-cell communication between cancer and normal cells.
We are currently advancing the understanding of EV-mediated cell-to-cell communication, engineering EVs to create novel gene delivery tools, and developing high-throughput screens to identify druggable regulators of EV biogenesis and secretion in cancer cells.