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Hiromi Sesaki, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Hiromi Sesaki, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Cell Biology

Research Interests: Membrane fusion and fission; Mitochondrial dynamics

Background

Dr. Hiromi Sesaki is an associate professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director of the Cell Biology Core in the Diabetes Research and Training Center, a joint venture of Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. His research explores the molecular mechanisms and physiological roles of mitochondrial fusion and division.

Dr. Sesaki received his B.S. in biology and Ph.D. in physiology, both from Osaka University in Japan. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at Johns Hopkins. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006.

He has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Mitochondrion. His research has garnered several awards and NIH grants.

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Titles

  • Associate Professor of Cell Biology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • B.S., Osaka University (Japan) (1990)
  • Ph.D., Osaka University (Japan) (1997)

Additional Training

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2002, Cell Biology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The Sesaki laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms and physiological roles of mitochondrial fusion. Mitochondria are highly dynamic and control their morphology by a balance of fusion and fission. The regulation of membrane fusion and fission generates a striking diversity of mitochondrial shapes, ranging from numerous small spheres in hepatocytes to long branched tubules in myotubes. In addition to shape and number, mitochondrial fusion is critical for normal organelle function. For example, mice that are defective in mitochondrial fusion die during early development while yeast fusion mutants rapidly lose their mitochondria genome and become incapable of oxidative phosphorylation. Moreover, mitochondrial fusion also regulates the release of cytochrome C during apoptosis. Therefore, it is not surprising that defects in mitochondrial fusion cause neurodegenerative disorders in humans, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A and autosomal dominant optic atrophy.

Using yeast as a model system, the lab has identified several components that mediate and regulate mitochondrial fusion. The lab is currently trying to determine their functions in both yeast and mammals. The goals of this research are to understand the molecular basis of mitochondrial fusion using biochemical approaches and to determine the physiological roles of mitochondrial fusion using cell culture and animal models.

Lab Website: Sesaki Lab

Selected Publications

Adachi, Y. and Sesaki, H. "Cyclin C: An inducer of mitochondrial division hidden in the nucleus." Developmental Cell. 28: 112-114. 2014.

Richter, V., Palmer, C.S., Osellame, J.D., Singh, A. P., Elgass, K., Stroud, D.A., Sesaki, H., Kvansakul, M., and Ryan, M.T. "Structural and functional analysis of MiD51, a dynamin receptor required for mitochondrial fission." J. Cell Biol. 204: 477-486. 2014.

Itoh, K., Tamura, Y., Iijima, M., and Sesaki H. "Effects of Fcj1-Mos1 and mitochondrial division on aggregation of mitochondrial DNA nucleoids and organelle morphology." Mol. Biol. Cell. 24: 1842-1851. 2013.

Sesaki, H., Adachi, Y., Kageyama, Y., Itoh, K., and Iijima, M. "In vivo functions of Drp1: Lessons learned from yeast genetics and mouse knockouts." Biochim Biophys Acta. Epub ahead of print. 2013.

Clerc, P., Ge, S.X., Hwang, H., Waddell, J., Roelofs, B.A., Karbowski, M., Sesaki, H., and Polster, B.M. "Drp1 is dispensable for apoptotic cytochrome c release in primed MCF10A and fibroblast cells but affects Bcl-2 antagonist-induced respiratory changes." Br. J. Pharmacol. Epub ahead of print. 2013.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Clinical Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology and Neurology, Howard University
  • Washingtonian Best Doctors
  • Best Doctors
  • Northern Virginia Best Doctors

Memberships

  • Mitochondrion
    Editorial Board
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