I am a protein biochemist with an interest in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate extracellular matrix turnover and destruction in physiological and pathological conditions. I am primarily interested in cell-surface large endocytic receptor called LRP1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1) because of its ubiquitous expression and a diverse range of regulatory function.
I completed my PhD in Biochemistry in 2006 at Yokohama City University, Japan. The major achievement of my PhD work was to demonstrate that matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)7 binds to cell surface lipids, promoting tumor metastasis. In December 2008, I joined Professor Hideaki Nagase’s laboratory at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (KIR) as a postdoctoral research associate. My major achievement at the KIR was the discovery that healthy cartilage produces several tissue-degrading metalloproteinases, but they are rapidly endocytosed by chondrocytes through the endocytic receptor LRP1. I then found that this pathway is impaired in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage, explaining an increase in their proteolytic activities in OA. In 2017, I have successfully competed for a Versus Arthritis Career Development fellowship and started to establish my own research group at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool (UoL).
Since I joined UoL, my research has expanded beyond cartilage homeostasis and OA to include skeletal development and lung, cardiovascular and dental diseases through collaboration with scientists and clinicians. In particular, collaboration with Professor George Bou-Gharios enabled to develop translational aspect of my research using various experimental mouse models. In JAN 2023, I was confirmed in post as lecturer.