Kazuhiko Yamada, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Kazuhiko Yamada
  • Margery K. and Thomas Pozefsky Professor in Kidney Transplant Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Professor (PAR) of Surgery



Research Interests

Immune tolerance; Xenotransplantation; Kidney transplantation; Thymus transplantation; Hematopoietic transplantation; Translational research ...read more


Kazuhiko Yamada is the Margery K. and Thomas Pozefsky Professor in Kidney Transplant Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and serves as Director of Xenotransplantation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  In August 2022, Dr. Yamada moved from Columbia University where he was Professor of Surgery and Medicine (with tenure), and Director of Surgical Research at the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI). After Dr. Yamada qualified as a Board-certified urologist in Japan, he joined the Transplantation Biology Research Center (TBRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He was promoted to Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1998, to Assistant Professor of Surgery in 2000, and to Associate Professor of Surgery in 2004 at HMS. He joined the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI) in 2015 and was appointed to Professor of Surgical Sciences in Surgery, at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and Director of Surgical Research, CCTI in 2015, and Professor with tenure, Department of Surgery, Columbia University in 2016.

Dr. Yamada has a broad background in transplantation immunology as well as in transplant surgery. He has conducted both allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantation projects at the TBRC in MGH, the CCTI at CUMC, and now at Johns Hopkins University. He has been responsible for seeking mechanisms of transplant tolerance in pre-clinical large animal models and developing innovative strategies for the induction of tolerance across both allogeneic and xenogeneic barriers in large animal translational research models. Dr. Yamada has been awarded numerous NIH grants with over US 25 million dollars as either PI or PL.  He also received 21.4 million US dollars in industry funding in 2022-2024.  He is an expert in transplantation translational research with over 1,000 cases of allogeneic and xenogeneic kidney, thymus, islet, and heart transplantation in both miniature swine and non-human primates. More specifically, he has extensively studied the role of the thymus and vascularization of cells/tissue in the induction of tolerance. He has developed innovative composite vascularized organs known as thymo-kidneys and islet-kidneys (composite IK). These composite organs demonstrate the importance of pre-vascularization of cells in the successful induction of transplantation tolerance in preclinical MHC inbred miniature swine models (JI 2000, PNAS 2004, Transplantation 2002, Diabetes 2002, AJT 2010, AJT 2016 etc). He has extended vascularized thymus (VT) Tx model to pig-to-baboon xenotransplant and achieved longer than 6 months normal creatinine levels with pig-specific unresponsiveness and new thymic emigrants from the co-transplanted donor VT graft (AJT 2017, Transplant Int 2018, Nature Med 2005). He has also successfully induced tolerance and corrected hyperglycemia by a composite IK graft with a short course of immunosuppression in totally pancreatectomized miniature swine (Diabetes 2002, Transplantation 2002) and successfully induced allograft tolerance of both islets and kidneys with transient mixed chimerism across a “mother to son” haploidentical barrier using reduced intensity mixed chimerism protocols (ITC regimen) in NHP (AJT 2016).  More recently, Dr. Yamada has achieved durable multilineage macrochimerism for more than one year following HSCTx without GvHD – the first demonstration of durable mixed chimerism in a nonhuman primate model, and demonstrated that this regimen leads to tolerance of kidneys transplanted from the same donor. His research was introduced in Nature Med, 2012), Nature Review (2013), JASN (2014), Harvard Med Focus and  in a book “Xeno Chronicles” (2005. G. Wayne Miller). He has published over 190 peer-reviewed articles in American or European journals and more than a dozen fellows have received Congress awards, including a Mentor/Mentee award from the Transplantation Society.

...read more


  • Margery K. and Thomas Pozefsky Professor in Kidney Transplant Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Director of Xenotransplantation at The Johns Hopkins
  • Professor (PAR) of Surgery

Departments / Divisions



  • M.D.; Nippon Medical College - Bunkyo-Ku - Tokyo (Japan) (1987)
  • Ph.D.; Nippon Medical College - Bunkyo-Ku - Tokyo (Japan) (1999)

Research & Publications

Contact for Research Inquiries

Division of Transplantation
720 Rutland Avenue
Ross Building, 7th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

Email me

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Johns Hopkins Medicine to Receive $21.4 Million to Advance Viability of Animal Organs for Transplants and Enable Human Clinical Trials, Johns Hopkins Medicine (March 29, 2023)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button