Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Department and Institute Affiliations
- Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
- Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
- Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Research and Education Building, Rm 4110
A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Masanobu Komatsu, Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine/All Children’s Hospital to study the tumor immune environment. High endothelial venules (HEV) are blood vessels specialized for recruiting naïve T cells and B cells. They serve a role as the gateways for lymphocyte entry into tumors and facilitate anti-tumor immune response. This project focuses on investigating how intratumoral HEVs shape the tumor immune landscape, promoting the formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS), thereby enhancing immune checkpoint inhibition therapies.
Candidates with a relevant training background in immunology or vascular biology should apply. Interested applicants should submit a single PDF file containing CV and a brief description of research interests and accomplishments to Dr. Masanobu Komatsu at [email protected]
- 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 senior scientist in the Johns Hopkins All Children's Department of Surgery and the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. He also has a secondary affiliation with the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research. He is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
He 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 studies under Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.
Dr. Komatsu became an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology while maintaining an adjunct position with Sanford Burnham. He joined Sanford Burnham full time in 2008 before coming to Johns Hopkins All Children’s in 2018. He holds patents related to the R-RAS protein and peptide-mediated vascular targeting of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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
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 Dr. Komatsu’s research is to find a way to reverse the process of abnormal vessel formation and restore normal function to these vessels. Normalization of blood vessels provides unique therapeutic opportunities. It can enhance the efficacy of cancer treatments and anti-tumor immunity, reestablish blood flow to ischemic hearts and limbs, and prevent blindness caused by damaging of the retina in diabetes. Dr. Komatsu’s research is uncovering key molecular pathways that promote the vessel normalization process.
Dr. Komatsu's research interests include:
- Blood vessel maturation and stabilization
- Normalization of tumor vasculature to enhance cancer therapy
- High endothelial venue as a gateway for T cells
- Endothelial cell and pericyte biology
- Vascular targeting for drug delivery
- Perrot C, Sawada J, and Komatsu M. Prolonged activation of cyclic AMP signaling leads to endothelial barrier disruption via transcriptional repression of RRAS. FASEB journal. 2018; 32(11): 5793-5812. PMID: 29775418
- 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
- Urakami T, Järvinen TA, Toba M, Sawada J, Ambalavanan N, Mann D, McMurtry I, Oka M, Ruoslahti E, Komatsu M. Peptide-directed highly selective targeting of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Am J Pathol. 2011; 178(6):2489-95. PMID: 21549345
- 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
Read more about Dr. Komatsu's work:
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Researchers Identify Important “Molecular Signature” for Predicting Breast Cancer Survival
The finding eventually will apply to treatments for pediatric cancers.
Researchers Probe the New Frontier of Immune Therapy
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital researchers have identified an important gene function with potential for enhancing the immune system.