Research Highlights

Basic Research

1. Overview about the basic research section of our department

re-1Specialty of our department (previous name, department of medicine and biological science) was cardiovascular and respiratory medicine until March, 2017. The old department was divided into two independent departments, cardiovascular medicine and respiratory medicine, but we still have good interaction. We briefly describe overview about the department of cardiovascular medicine in this site. We have several teams conducting individual projects. They include cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, cardiac metabolism, genetic mutation of human arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, vascular calcification, vascular injury and pulmonary hypertension. We are still working partly on pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the department of cardiovascular medicine. We handle gene-modified animals such as knockout and transgenic mice, cell culture and human samples to analyze function of target molecules in pathophysiological situations. We utilize a wide variety of technologies including molecular biology (RT-PCR, cloning of target molecules, reporter gene assay, etc.), Western blot, histological analysis, ELISA, and standard biochemical measurement. We are also able to estimate metabolism in vivo and in vitro by using radio-isotope and mass spectrometry (metabolome analysis). We have special equipments such as sphygmomanometer, echocardiography and Millar’s catheter system to evaluate hemodynamics of small animals. We have established pathophysiological models of small animals such as transverse aortic constriction (TAC) for cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, myocardial infarction, vascular injury, abdominal aortic aneurysm, bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, smoking-induced COPD and hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Thus, we are aiming at high quality science with high originality to verify novel mechanisms underlying cardiovascular and partly respiratory diseases by making full use of the latest technology. Our data are presented at domestic and international meetings such as Japanese Circulation Society and American Heart Association. The final goal of graduate students is to publish the data in prestigious journals.
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2. Previous and current international students in our laboratory and their research activities

re-3We started laboratory training for international students since 2008. We have had seven international students as listed below.
1)Anwarul Haque (2008-2011), from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
He was a graduate student of intensive care unit in Gunma University Hospital. He had an interest in molecular biology technology and joined our laboratory partly by using his available time. He established septic shock model by injecting lipopolysaccharide and analyzed cardiac function.
Presentation: World Congress International Society for Heart Research in Kyoto, 2010
2)Adriana Carolina Vargas Nino (June to September, 2009), from La Sabana University, Colombia.
She was a medical student and stayed in Japan only for 4 months by taking advantage of academic exchange program between Gunma and La Sabana Universities. During such short period, she identified point mutation of COL3A1 (type III procollagen gene), which causes Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (type IV).
Publication: Journal of Cardiology Cases, 2011;3, e29-e32, and awarded as the best case report of the year.
3)Mas Rizky Syamsunarno (2010-2015), from Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia.
He acquired a scholarship from Japanese Government (ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology in Japan) and joined our laboratory. He is our first full-time graduate student from foreign countries. After graduation, he worked with us as a post-doctoral fellow for 1 year and 5 months. He worked on systemic metabolism under strenuous conditions such as prolonged fasting and cold exposure.
Presentation: American Heart Association 2013 and 2014, Japanese Circulation Society 2013, 2014 and 2015, Society of Cardiovascular Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013, International Vascular Biology Meeting 2014, International Society for Heart Research Japanese section 2014.
Award: A finalist of young investigator award, Society of Cardiovascular Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013, a finalist of young investigator award, International Society for Heart Research Japanese section 2014.
Publications:
Syamsunarno MRAA, Iso T, Kurabayashi M, et al. Fatty acid binding protein 4 and 5 play a crucial role in thermogenesis under the conditions of fasting and cold stress.
PLoS One 2014, Mar 6;9(6):e90825.
Syamsunarno MRAA, Iso T, Kurabayashi M et al. A critical role of fatty acid binding protein 4 and 5 (FABP4/5) in the systemic response to fasting.
PLoS One 2013, Nov 14;8(11):e79386.
4)Mirasari Putri (2011-2015), from Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia.
She is Rizky’s wife. She was a graduate student of department of public health. She was interested in our projects and worked together partly by using her available time.
Publication:
Putri M, Syamsunarno MRAA, Iso T, Kurabayashi M, et al. CD36 is indispensable for thermogenesis under conditions of fasting and cold stress.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Feb 20;457(4):520-5.
5)Yogi Umbarawan (2013-present), from Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia.
He acquired a scholarship from Japanese Government (ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology in Japan) and joined our laboratory. He is the second full-time graduate student for our laboratory. He is working on association between cardiac metabolism and function during development of cardiac hypertrophy and under septic condition.
Presentation: American Heart Association 2016, Japanese Circulation Society 2015, 2016 and 2017, International Society for Heart Research Japanese section 2015.
Award: A finalist of young investigator award, Japanese Circulation Society 2015.
6)Tommy Dharmawan (2015-present), from Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia.
He is the third full-time graduate student for our laboratory. He is trying to identify genetic mutations of human arrhythmia in familial cases and analyzing their electrophysiological roles.
7)Suman Shrestha (2015-present), from College of Medical Sciences, Nepal.
He is a graduate student belonging to department of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in Gunma University. He is interested in our projects about regulation of circulating FABP4 and working together by using his available time.

3. Invitation

We have many ongoing projects and a variety of technologies as described above. We also have experiences to work with international students. We believe that environment in our department is very suitable for foreign students to start basic science. We would like to support your science and your daily life in Gunma. If you have an interest in our projects, let’s work together.

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