Dr. Fujita is an expert in tissue regeneration in the body, especially the skeletal muscle with its amazing regenerative capacity, which is mainly achieved by the muscle resident stem cells, called “satellite cells”. In adult muscles, satellite cells are normally dormant, but in response to muscle injury or intense exercise, they become activated to proliferate and differentiate into multi nucleated myofibers.
Despite their astounding ability to regenerate, the number and function of satellite cells decline with aging, and various diseases and disorders including those associated with a family of muscular dystrophies which lead to failure of regeneration.
We are therefore working towards understanding the molecular mechanisms governing satellite cell function during the regeneration and homeostatic condition, and will develop strategies to prevent the loss of “stemness” in the satellite cells.
The results of our research are potentially key in regenerative medicine for treatment of many muscle diseases, including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and the age-related condition Sarcopenia, which causes loss of mass and function of skeletal muscle.
Dr. Ryo Fujita became an Assistant Professor within the Division of Regenerative Medicine in Transborder Medical Research Center (TMRC), and a member of the Faculty of Medicine, at University of Tsukuba from year 2020.
Dr. Ryo Fujita received his Ph.D. in Gene Therapy Science at Osaka University in 2015, under Professor Yasufumi Kaneda. During his period as a Ph.D. candidate, he was awarded a “Research Fellowship for Young Scientist”, from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (DC1, 2012-2015).
After graduation, Dr Fujita completed two postdoctoral fellowships. The first with Dr. Yusuke Ono at Nagasaki University, where he had received (another) “Research Fellowship for Young Scientist” from JSPS (PD, 2015-2017).
Then in 2017, Dr. Fujita joined the Dr. Colin Crist laboratory as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he studied the role of protein translation and the stem cell niche for the maintenance of muscle stem cells. During the second postdoctoral training at the Crist lab, he was awarded the “Overseas Research Fellowships” from JSPS (2018-2020).
Dr Fujita returned to Japan in 2020 and was awarded the “Leading Initiative for Excellent Young Researchers Program” from JSPS. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor and continued his journey of excellence in biomedical research with the Division of Regenerative Medicine in the Transborder Medical Research Center (TMRC) and as a faculty member of the Faculty of Medicine at University of Tsukuba.
In December 2020, Assistant Professor Fujita received the Young Investigator’s Award for Excellence at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Muscle Sciences.
Dr Fujita’s contribution to TMRC brings important understanding, expertise and skills to ensure continuing success with future discoveries for advancing Regenerative Medicine and reducing the future impact of aging and debilitating disease in world communities.