Message from Professor Yokota,

Welcome to the homepage of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

With rapid aging society in developed countries especially Japan, importance of the role of neurology has been increasing for treating patients of age-related diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer disease.

Recent progresses in molecular biology have shed light on the mechanisms underlying these neurological diseases, and now it is the time that we can develop an effcient therapy to cure these difficult diseases at molecular level.

Our department is currently tackling two major projects supported by big grants from Japanese government. The first is the gene therapy with oligonucleotide drug.

We recently innovated by ourselves, a third class oligonucleotide DNA/RNA heteroduplex oligonucleotide (HDO), which molecular structure and mechanism are different from conventional antisense and siRNA (Nat Commun 2015),and is highly potent in vivo to achive molecular regulation as RNA therapeutics. TMDU developed a brand new bio-bencher company,“RENA therapeutics”, for clinical application of the HDO technology. We are now promoting strategies targeting Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, ALS and Stroke.

The other is also a new technology of delivering high-molecular bio-drugs such as monoclonal antibody, oligonucleotide and peptide/protein through the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). This BBB penetrating technology can open a new diagnostic as well as therapeutic stage for neurological diseases.

Especially molecular imaging of brain MRI or PET is now the most interesting thema with this technology. The second bio-bencher company,“Braizon therapeutics”, was established last year.

Other than these two, we are also studying pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease, SCA31 and ALS; biomarker of noncoding RNA in serum and CSF; and clinical researches of neuropathology, neuroimmunology or neuroimaging, or electrophysiology.

In addition, we are interested in more basic molecular biology of new central dogma of small single/double-strand DNAs. Then, not only medical doctors but PhD students and doctors are very welcome to join our exciting projects.

Takanori Yokota M.D., Ph.D. 
Chairman and Professor
Department of Neurology and Neurological Science Tokyo Medical and Dental University