Department of Internal Medicine

Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Immnology

Development of clinical medicine and human resources and research that contributes to the advancement of medical knowledge and treatments
  • To build a solid foundation for the medical care system
  • To recruit and train young and talented staff members
  • 1. To pioneer treatments in immunity and respiratory diseases
  • 2. To globally lead in the development of advanced treatments for lung cancer
Professor Atsushi Kumanogoh
Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Immnology
To advance medical care to the next generation of health

Pioneering leading treatment of immune and respiratory diseases, with better understanding of cancer immunology and advanced treatments of lung cancer

Immunopathology Group:

  • Study of immunoregulatory mechanisms by guidance molecules such as semaphorins
  • Study of semaphorins in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and their therapeutic applications.

Semaphorins are neuroguidance molecules in the neural formation network at the developmental stage. In 2000, we were the first to identify semaphorin-4D (Sema4D), a molecule essential to the immune system, and have since discovered many more semaphorins involved in allergies and autoimmune diseases. Semaphorins functional in the immune system are regarded as `immune semaphorins` and constitute a new paradigm of immune regulatory elements. In addition to immune related diseases such as multiple sclerosis and atopic dermatitis, semaphorins have been reported to play important roles in the pathogenesis of diseases such as osteoporosis, neurological disorders, sudden cardiac arrest, and so on. Semaphorin molecules are gaining attention as a new therapeutic target.

[Recent Publication] Nat Commun. 2016, Sci Rep. 2016, J Immunol. 2015, Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015

Rheumatology and Allergy Group:

  • Verification of effectiveness of human anti-IL-6 receptor antibody against refractory disease

IL-6 was discovered by Professor Tadamitsu Kishimoto. Through elucidation of IL-6 partner molecules in signal transduction and by studying the relationship of IL-6 with the onset of various diseases, the human type anti-IL-6 receptor antibody was developed. Clinical trials of this antibody were initiated at Osaka University and have now spread throughout Japan and to the rest of the world. It has become clear that the human anti-IL-6 receptor antibody is effective for the treatment of Castleman’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The antibody will next be tested for the treatment of intractable immune disorders in which it is expected to be effective.

[Recent Publication] PLoS One. 2016

Respiratory Medicine Group

  • Elucidation of the mechanism in the pathogenesis of interstitial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the mechanism of resistance for treatment in lung cancer

We are studying the role of membrane protein tetraspanin in the development of pulmonary fibrosis, an inflammatory lung disease, and the role of adiponectin, which is related to the pathology of COPD, using mouse models and biopsies from patients. In addition, we are searching for new biomarkers for the diagnosis and classification of pulmonary fibrosis and COPD. In regards to lung cancer, the development of molecular targeted therapy for multidrug-resistant small cell lung cancer is underway, and also the development of a system to analyze patients’ resistance and susceptibility factor to lung cancer immunotherapy (anti-PD-1 antibody).

[Recent Publication] FEBS Lett. 2016, Am J Respir Cell MoI Biol. 2015, Lung Cancer. 2015