Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
List of Departments, Divisions and Professors

D. Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Division of Microbiology (Prof. Hak Hotta)
We aim to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of hepatitis C virus (HCV), such as carcinogenesis, metabolic disorders, immune evasion and interferon evasion. We also aim to study and develop antiviral drugs and vaccines against HCV. In addition, we study measles virus variants, known as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) virus, to better understand the pathogenesis of the virus and to find better therapeutic measures for SSPE patients.
E-mail: hotta@kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.med.kobe-u.ac.jp/micro/index.htm

Division of Clinical Virology (Prof. Yasuko Mori)
Human herpesviruses are able to infect their natural hosts, and remain latent infections in the hosts. When the host immunity is decreased, the viruses would reactivate from the latency and cause the diseases in the hosts. Therefore, we study the mechanism of herpesvirus infection identifying host and virus factors which function for virus entry, replication and egress, and analyzing the host responses caused by virus infection. The final goal of the study is to elucidate the mechanism of herpesvirus infection and to control the infectious diseases.
E-mail: ymori@med.kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.med.kobe-u.ac.jp/virol/index.html

Division of Vaccinology (Associate Prof. Eiji Konishi)
This Division deals with basic researches for development of effective and safe vaccines against flaviviruses. Dengue viruses, Japanese encephalitis virus and West Nile virus are flaviviruses of global importance. One vaccine strategy suited for international use is the DNA vaccine. The aim of our study is to construct DNA vaccines against these flaviviruses and evaluate them using animal models.
E-mail: ekon@kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.research.kobe-u.ac.jp/fhs-virus/

Division of Zoonotic Virorogy (Visiting Prof. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Associate Prof. Kyoko Shinya) 
Our research objectives are to elucidate the pathogenicity of influenza viruses and other pathogenic microorganisms and publish the fundamental data to utilize in establishing methods for therapy and preventive control for susceptible hosts.
e-mail address: shinya@med.kobe-u.ac.jp (Dr. K. Shinya)
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Division of Infectious Disease Control (Prof. Ikuo Shoji)
Research in my laboratory is focused on the molecular biology of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus and the roles of these viruses in pathogenesis. Our interests extend to various aspects of virus-cell interactions, including viral replication, metabolic disorders and carcinogenesis. We are interested in the virus-host interactions to develop novel methods for the control of the infectious diseases. Another area of study in the laboratory involves the molecular epidemiology of Norovirus and Rotavirus in Indonesia.
E-mail: ishoji@med.kobe-u.ac.jp
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Division of Infectious Disease Pathology (Prof. Yoshitake Hayashi) 
Our research focus is on viral infected hepatitis and hepatology. Main project is to establish the international network against world-wide spread of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, in systematic and politico-economical as well as Medical and scientic research aspects. As an education for PhD students, molecular and genetic analysis ofinfectious diseases, particularly epidemiologic study and genotype analysis of Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus and Hepatitis E Virus (various patient groups in various geographical areas) are being carried out. Diagnostic and clinicopathological studies of liver diseases are also being researched.
E-mail: hayashiy@med.kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.med.kobe-u.ac.jp/molgene/index.html

Divison of Infectious Disease Therapeutics (Prof. Kentaro Iwata)
The Division of Infectious Diseases Therapeutics provides consultative services to hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients in a caring and compassionate manner. Inpatient consultative services are provided on daily basis. Outpatient services provide HIV/AIDS care, travel medicine on pre-travel counseling with vaccination/prophylaxis and post-travel consultation, and other variety of infectious diseases related topics such as fever origin obscure. Our research is mainly focused on clinical medicine, particularly about emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases such as pandemic flu.
E-mail: kiwata@med.kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.hosp.kobe-u.ac.jp/consultation/guide/department/kansen.html

Division of Bacteriology (Prof. Ro Osawa)
The division aims at development of simple and rapid methods to detect pathogenic bacteria contaminating foods and agricultural products and DNA fingerprinting methods that facilitate early determination of source or route of their contaminations. We have so far developed novel methods for detection of toxin producing Vibrio parahaemolyticus and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157 in foods, and are currently developing a novel selective agar media and a novel DNA fingerprinting methods for toxigenic V. cholerae strains that are indistinguishable by conventional DNA fingerprinting methods, and a multiplex PCR method that can detect simultaneously EHEC O157 and EHEC O26.
E-mail: tamie@opal.kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.research.kobe-u.ac.jp/ans-koala/main.html

Division of Parasitolgy (Prof. Shoji Uga)
Currently we are studying following subjects.
1. A study on the host manipulation by parasite. In this study cercaria of Centrocestus armatus distributed over this prefecture is used.
2. Contamination of environments by parasite eggs. Toxocara species, known to an important zoonotic parasite, were used for development of fundamental techniques for recovery of eggs.
3. Epidemiological survey of soil-transmitted helminths in endemic areas of tropical countries.
4. Molecular epidemiological surveys of emerging and reemerging protozoan parasitic diseases; babesiosis, malaria, etc.
5. Studies of mechanism of infection and mechanism of drug resistance for intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites.
E-mail: ugas@kobe-u.ac.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.research.kobe-u.ac.jp/fhs-parasite/

Division of Infectious Disease Field Research (Affiliated Graduate Programs) (Visiting Prof. Masatsugu Chikahira)
Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Sciences carry out comprehensive scientific researches into the causes that damage our health and environment and try to contribute to us living in a healthy environment. The Institute has established affiliated graduate program relationship with Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine since April in 2008.
E-mail: masatsugu_chikahira@pref.hyogo.lg.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.hyogo-iphes.jp/kansen/

Division of Infection Immunology (Affiliated Graduate Programs)
The National Institute of Biomedical Innovation (NIBIO) was established in April 2005, with the Osaka branch of National Institute of Health Sciences as the nucleus and integrating aspects of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency. The institute was formed as part of the reorganization of the laboratories and institutes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare begun in 1995 to integrate organizations related to promoting the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices distinct from the regulatory and promotion functions. The NIBIO has established affiliated graduate program relationship with Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine since April in 2007.

Section of Virus Infection (Visiting Prof. Jun Kunisawa)
Mucosal (oral, nasal, and vaginal) vaccine has been attracted as an effective vaccine against various infectious diseases. Our laboratory is trying to reveal uniqueness of mucosal immunosurveillance, especially immunological communication with environmental factors (e.g. commensal bacteria and dietary materials), for better understanding mucosal immunology. In addition to the basic immunology, we also develop antigen delivery system and mucosal adjuvant for the development of mucosal vaccine to control the infectious diseases.
E-mail: kunisawa@nibio.go.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.nibio.go.jp/vaccine_material_project/english/index.html

Section of Immunology (Visiting Prof. Tetsuji Naka)
Like hormones,cytokines are intercellular messengers that are essential to living animals.Abnormalities in cytokine signaling,however,can compromise the immune system and cause autoimmune and intractable diseases,such as cancers and chronic inflammatory conditions.Therefore,the body has regulatory systems to prevent excessive signaling.For example,suppressor of cytokine signaling(SOCS)molecules regulate cytokine signaling as well as innate immune signaling and insulin signaling.It is also known that SOCS-deficient mice develop an autoimmune disease that is similar to human systemic lupus erythematosus(SLE).Our laboratory investigates the relationships between human diseases and the SOCS molecules in order to develop SOCS-based therapies for autoimmune diseases,cancer,lifestyle-related diseases,and infections.
E-mail: tnaka@nibio.go.jp
Original Home Page: http://www.nibio.go.jp/part/project/immunity_signal/

Section of Genetic Medicine (Visiting Associate Prof.Kenji Kawabata)
Technology to inject genes into cells and to regulate their expression contributes to the functional analysis of disease-related genes and proteins, the development of novel vaccines through the introduction of antigens, stem cell-based regenerative medicine, and the development of gene therapies. Existing technologies, however, are cumbersome, and need to be improved in terms of the gene transfer efficiency. We are developing innovative technologies that allow gene transduction and expression regulation and are investigating their potential applications.
E-mail: kawabata@nibio.go.jp

Original Home Page: http://www.nibio.go.jp/Proj3HP/index.html
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