29 April 2011
Posted in DNA Day
Dr. Sugaya grew up in Yokohama, Japan. He studied pharmacology at the Science University of Tokyo, where he earned a B.S., a M.S. and a Ph.D. Dr. Sugaya received a postdoctoral training from Dr. Ezio Giacobini, who built the base for the current cholinesterase Alzheimer’s disease therapies, at the Southern University of Illinois (1988-1989), where he elegantly showed a certain type of cholinergic receptor is reduced in Alzheimer’s disease. After the postdoctoral training he worked 3 years as a lecturer in his alma mater since he received a grant to set up a new institute form Japanese government.
in 1992, Dr. Sugaya move to the Mayo Clinic at Jacksonville, where he expanded his research with molecular biological techniques and introduced the hypothesis of glial activation as a mechanism of neurodegenerative. There, he finished his postdoctoral training and became Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Associate Consultant. His article became the front page of Molecular Brain Research.
Dr. Sugaya moved to the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1997, where he became Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Ophthalmology and Bioengineering. He has further expanded his research area to the biology of neural stem cell (NSC) and his publication regarding improvement of memory in the aged animal by stem cell transplantation was well received form the society and reported by Washington Post, BBC, NBC, ABC and other media in all over the world. This study is the first time to show the possible use of stem cell to treat age associated memory problem.
Dr. Sugaya accepted a position in the University of Central Florida as a full professor in 2004. He continues to have interests in treating neurodegenerative diseases by stem cell technologies, and his work at UCF has been introduced by Wall Street Journal and other media. He is a Director of Stem Cell Laboratory and Chair of Neuroscience Consortium for Central Florida. He is also serving as a Council member of the Florida State organization, the Center for Universal Research to Eradicate Disease. His laboratory in Burnett School of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine, is very active and filed 31 patents. Now they are conducting totally new research to treat neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke using the patient’s own stem cells, which eliminate ethical and many other issues associate with embryonic stem cells. One is to produce of brain cells from the patient own adult stem cells, and another is to increase endogenous stem cell by systemic administration of a drug. They also recently succeeded in producing retina and inner hair cells to treat blindness and deafness. Dr. Sugaya is collaborating with many international institutions including National Institute of Health and Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and aggressively investigating cures for the diseases associate with aging.