Division and Department

Department of Molecular Medicine and Biochemistry

Masamitsu TANAKA, M.D. & Ph.D.

A Greeting from the Professor

Our department was founded in January of 2009. We study signal transductions of tumor biology, and our goal is to develop molecular therapies for solid tumors with poor prognosis, including scirrhous type cancers. For this purpose, target proteins are screened through biology-oriented approaches, using not only the techniques of molecular biology and biochemistry, but also histopathology and cytology. In addition, we also use methods and tools of developmental biology, such as Xenopus embryos for studying tumors in order to overcome technical restrictions arising when assays are performed with tumor tissues and cell lines. We focus on the elucidation of basic mechanisms of biological behavior of tumors rather the practical approach of designing chemical drugs for tumors. However, our studies are closely related to clinical problems surrounding tumors.

Our department accepts graduate students from various backgrounds. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Let's enjoy doing experiments together.


Masamitsu TANAKA, M.D. & Ph.D.
(molecular biology, biochemistry, pathology)

Associate Professor:

Assistant Professor:
(developmental biology, molecular biology)
Go Itoh,Ph.D.

Research Areas

  1. Signal transductions of solid tumors
    Eph/ephrin family
    Tyrosine phosphorylation mediated signaling
    Oxidative stress induced signaling
  2. Identification of target proteins for molecular therapy of tumors
    Purification and identification of candidate proteins from animal models of tumor dissemination (e.g. peritoneal dissemination) in order to develop novel molecular therapies for tumors.
  3. From Development to Tumors
    Biological behaviors of tumors overlap with the process of development or organogenesis in some aspects, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and remodeling of tissues. By studying the common mechanisms of tumors and developmental biology, we plan to elucidate mechanisms leading to tumor therapies.

Contact Information

Professor Masamitsu TANAKA
Phone: +81-18-884-6077
Fax: +81-18-884-6078
E-mail: mastanak@med.akita-u.ac.jp