Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Postdoctoral positions are available at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine - Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in the fields of immuno-oncology and vascular biology. Prospective candidates will be investigating the tumor immune environment – in particular, tertiary lymphoid structure (TLS)-associated high endothelial venules and their role in anti-tumor immunity and immunotherapy in adult and pediatric cancers. An additional position is available to study the mechanism of maturation and stabilization of regenerating vasculature.
Ideal candidates have expertise in immunology, cancer biology, or vascular biology. Candidates must be highly self-motivated, independent individuals with Ph.D. or M.D. and hold publication records in one or more of the relevant areas.
Interested applicants should submit a single PDF file containing a CV and a brief description of research interests and accomplishments to: email@example.com
- B.S., Biology and Marine Science, Minor: Mathematics, University of Miami, Miami, 1991
- Ph.D., Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Miami, School of Medicine, Miami. Mentor: Kermit L. Carraway, Professor. Thesis topic: Multifunctional activities and contributions of sialomucin complex/MUC4 to tumor metastasis. 1998
- Postdoc Associate, Dept. of Cell Biology and Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami. Mentor: Kermit L. Carraway, Professor. Research topic: Multifunctional activities and contributions of sialomucin complex/MUC4 to tumor metastasis. 1998
- Postdoc Associate, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami. Mentor: Robert B. Levy, Professor. Research topic: Cytotoxic pathways of the host resistance to hematopoietic stem cell allograft. 1999 to 2000
- Postdoc Associate, The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, California. Mentor: Erkki Ruoslahti, Distinguished Professor. Research topic: Physiological and pathological roles of small GTPase R-Ras in vascular remodeling and regeneration. 2001 to 2004
Dr. Komatsu is a Principal Investigator of the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also affiliated with the Department of Surgery and the Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
Dr. Komatsu earned an undergraduate degree in marine science/biology and a Ph.D. in cell biology at the University of Miami, where he also did post-doctoral training in immunology. He continued post-doctoral study at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute under Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti who discovered cell adhesion molecules such as fibronectin and integrins. In 2005, he became an Assistant Professor of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology, where he began investigating the molecular mechanism of blood vessel formation and stability. He also began working on the development of vascular targeting methodologies for target-specific drug delivery and imaging. He joined Sanford Burnham's NCI-designated Cancer Center as a faculty member in 2008 before coming to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2018 to continue his research at the Johns Hopkins University. He holds patents related to the vascular regulation by R-RAS and peptide-mediated drug targeting of pulmonary arterial hypertension, sepsis, and cancer.
Honors and Awards
- Article selected by the Faculty of 1000. Peptide-Directed Highly Selective Targeting of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Am J Pathol., 2011
- Article selected by the Faculty of 1000. R-Ras is a global regulator of vascular regeneration that suppresses intimal hyperplasia and tumor angiogenesis. Nat Med, 2005
- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NIH 5 T32 CA 09579, 2001-2002
- Winner, Sylvester Cancer Center Research Competition, 2000
- Third place, Sylvester Cancer Center Research Competition, 1999
- Winner, Sylvester Cancer Center Research Competition, University of Miami, 1998
Read more about Dr. Komatsu's work:
The finding eventually will apply to treatments for pediatric cancers.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital researchers have identified an important gene function with potential for enhancing the immune system.
Malfunction and malformation of blood vessels are associated with a broad range of medical conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders. The ultimate goal of the Komatsu lab is to find a way to reverse the process of abnormal vessel formation and restore normal function to these vessels. In cancer, normalization of tumor blood vessels facilitates lymphocyte infiltration, potentiating anti-tumor immunity, and enhances the efficacy of immunotherapies as well as conventional cancer treatments. Normalization of regenerating blood vessels is also necessary for reestablishing blood flow to ischemic hearts and limbs, and preventing blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. Komatsu lab’s research is uncovering key molecular pathways important for the normalization of pathological vasculature.
Dr. Komatsu's research interests include:
- High endothelial venules and their role in lymphocyte recruitment
- Tertiary lymphoid structure (TLS) in cancer
- Maturation and stabilization of regenerating vasculature
- Endothelial cell and pericyte biology
- Vascular targeting for drug delivery
- Sawada J, Hiraoka N, Qi R, Jiang L, Fournier-Goss AE, Yoshida M, Kawashima H, Komatsu M. Molecular Signature of Tumor-Associated High Endothelial Venules that can Predicts Breast Cancer Survival. Cancer Immunology Research. 2022 online ahead of print, PMID: 35201289
- Sawada J, Perrot CY, Chen L, Fournier-Goss AE, Oyer J, Copik A, Komatsu M. High Endothelial Venules Accelerate Naive T Cell Recruitment by Tumor Necrosis Factor-Mediated R-Ras Upregulation. Am J Pathol. 2021; 191(2):396-414. PMID: 33159887
- Perrot C, Herrera J, Fournier-Goss A, and Komatsu M. Prostaglandin E2 breaks down pericyte-endothelial cell interaction via EP1 and EP4-dependent downregulation of pericyte N-cadherin, connexin-43, and R-Ras. Scientific Reports. 2020; 10(1):11186. PMID: 32636414
- Li F, Sawada J, and Komatsu M. R-Ras-Akt axis induces endothelial lumenogenesis and regulates the patency of regenerating vasculature. Nature Communications. 2017; 8(1):1720, PMID: 29170374
- Sawada J, Urakami T, Li F, Urakami A, Zhu W, Fukuda M, Li DY, Ruoslahti E, Komatsu M. Small GTPase R-Ras regulates integrity and functionality of tumor blood vessels. Cancer Cell. 2012; 22(2):235-49. PMID: 22897853
- Komatsu M, Ruoslahti E. R-Ras is a global regulator of vascular regeneration that suppresses intimal hyperplasia and tumor angiogenesis. Nature Medicine 2005; 11(12):1346-50. PMID: 16286923
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