Akihiro Yoshida, Ph.D.

Medical University of South Carolina, Hollings Cancer Center

 

Education:

  • Ph.D. Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara,
    Japan
  • M.S. Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara,
    Japan
  • LB.S. Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan
Research Focus: 

Dr. Yoshida is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying how the cell cycle is
dysregulated in metastatic melanoma. Specifically, key cell cycle regulators, such as cyclin D1
and CDK4, a catalytic partner of cyclin D1, are overexpressed or mutated resulting in
constitutive CDK activity in melanoma implying that cyclin D1/CDK4 function is required for
development and progression of melanoma. If so, targeting CDK4 or CDK6 is of potential
clinical significance. Importantly, CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved by FDA and under
clinical trial. Dr. Yoshida has discovered that CDK4/6 inhibitors induce senescence in
vemurafenib, a specific Braf-mutant inhibitor, resistant melanoma and proposed a therapeutic
strategy for combination therapy for melanoma patients. He has been continuously working on
elucidating the acquired resistant mechanisms of CDK4/6 inhibitors-induced senescence in
melanoma by comprehensive analyses such as RNA sequence in vitro, mouse models in vivo,
and human clinical samples, which provide avenues for drug combinations to enhance the
efficacy of CDK4/6 inhibitors. Based on the concepts that he has developed, he also sets out to
start clinical trials with collaborators for melanoma patients.

 

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