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Kazuyo Yamaji-Kegan, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Kazuyo Yamaji-Kegan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Research Interests: Pulmonary hypertension; Cardiopulmonary diseases

Background

Dr. Kazuyo Kegan is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms, regulation and functional outcomes of Th2 immune responses in the pulmonary vasculature during the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Dr. Kegan earned her undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from Kagoshima University in Japan.

She is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Thoracic Society and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. She has been recognized with the Young Investigator Award, and the 2011 - 2013 Pfizer Research Fellowships in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of the American Thoracic Society.

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Titles

  • Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Education

Degrees

  • B.A., Kagoshima University (Japan) (1995)
  • Ph.D., Kagoshima University (Japan) (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The goal of Dr. Kegan's research program is to understand the mechanisms, regulation and functional outcomes of Th2 immune responses in the pulmonary vasculature during the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Dr. Kegan has successfully demonstrated the direct connection between Th2 cytokine interleukin (IL)-4 and pulmonary vascular growth response in animal models of PH. Specifically, Dr. Kegan's group found that the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway is critically regulated by IL-4 in the lung vasculature under hypoxic conditions and inflammation. Her interest is in the mechanism of endothelial cell injury and subsequent Th2 immune response, and in understanding its signaling pathways and its contribution to human cardiopulmonary diseases, particularly PH.

Dr. Kegan and her colleagues have also discovered and published the role of inflammatory stimuli, particularly IL-4, in mediating FIZZ/resistin family proteins in lung inflammation and vasculogenesis. She has expertise in vascular biology and has focused on the role of inflammatory mediators in lung vasculogenesis and remodeling. She currently focuses on pulmonary vascular angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and inflammation using in vivo physiology, in vitro cell biology, and genetic and biochemical approaches.

Technology Expertise Keywords

Anesthesiology

Selected Publications

  1. Yamaji-Kegan K, Su Q, Angelini DJ, Myers AC, Cheadle C, Johns RA. "Hypoxia-induced mitogenic factor (HIMF/FIZZ1/RELMα) increases lung inflammation and activates pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells via an IL-4-dependent mechanism." J Immunol 185(9):5539-5548, 2010.
  2. Johns RA, Yamaji-Kegan K. "Unveiling cell phenotypes in lung vascular remodeling." Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 297:L1056-L1058, 2009.
  3. Yamaji-Kegan K, Su Q, Angelini DJ, Johns RA. "Interleukin-4 is proangiogenic in the lung under hypoxic conditions." J Immunol 182:5469-5476, 2009.
  4. Yamaji K, Wang Y, Liu Y, Abeyama K, Hashiguchi T, Uchimura T, Krishna Biswas K, Iwamoto H, Maruyama I. "Activated protein C, a natural anticoagulant protein, has antioxidant properties and inhibits lipid peroxidation and advanced glycation end products formation." Thromb Res 115(4):319-325, 2005.
  5. Yamaji-Kegan K, Su Q, Angelini DJ, Champion HC, Johns RA. "Hypoxia-induced mitogenic factor has proangiogenic and proinflammatory effects in the lung via VEGF and VEGF receptor-2." Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 291(6):L1159-L1168, 2006.
  6. Yamaji K, Sarker KP, Kawahara K, Iino S, Yamakuchi M, Abeyama K, Hashiguchi T, Maruyama I. "Anandamide induces apoptosis in human endothelial cells: Its regulation system and clinical implications." Thromb Haemost 89:875-884, 2003.
  7. Maruyama I, Nakata M, Yamaji K. "Effect of leptin in platelet and endothelial cells. Obesity and arterial thrombosis." Ann N Y Acad Sci 902:315-319, 2000.

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Pfizer Research Fellowships in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, American Thoracic Society, 2011 - 2013
  • Second place poster award, 14th Annual ACCM Research Day Poster Awards, 2012
  • Young Investigator Award, 1st Blood Vessel Orbis Meeting, 2003

Memberships

  • American Heart Association
  • American Thoracic Society
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Association
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