Hiroshi Tokuo, M.D., Ph.D.

Boston University School of Medicine

Dr. Hiroshi Tokuo is a Research Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Tokuo was a practicing dermatologist in Japan and he has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of dermatological diseases. In particular, his experience in treating malignant cutaneous melanoma led him to pursue Ph.D. studies in cancer biology. Dr. Tokuo received his Ph.D. degree from Kumamoto University School of Medicine in Kumamoto, Japan.

As a postdoctoral fellow, instructor at UMASS Medical School, and research scientist at Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI), he carried out basic research on how cellular movement in the human body is regulated by unconventional myosins. During this period, he received an NIH grant that allowed him to continue to develop an in vivo model to study the function of Myosin-X (Myo10). When BBRI abruptly closed, he was recruited to the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. At this time, he started to collaborate with researchers in the Department of Dermatology in melanoma research using patient samples and found that Myo10 is expressed in melanoma and that its expression level is negatively correlated with patient survival.

The main focus of his laboratory is on actin-cytoskeleton regulators particularly unconventional myosins that are essential for normal and diseased cell migration. Identification of how dysregulation of these factors accelerate melanoma progression is expected to lead ultimately to the design of new therapies to treat melanoma and its metastasis.

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