Mitsuru Morimoto, Assistant Professor of Division of Mammalian Development, was awarded the Jo Rae Wright Award, (Best Presentation Award) at FASEB Science Research Conferences: The Lung Epithelium in Health & Disease which was held in July 22-27, 2012 in Saxtons River, VT, USA. The prize is given to a scientist who gave the best presentation in the conference. The title of the presentation was “Notch signaling regulates the spatial balance of lung epithelial cells”.
[Summary of Dr. Morimoto’s research] Each organ has a unique function coordinated by distinct morphology and specialized cell types. Therefore, altered cell differentiation that leads to abnormal organogenesis can cause severe human diseases. Dr. Morimoto is investigating the tempo-spatial regulation of the epithelial cell types during mouse lung organogenesis. It is known that many pulmonary diseases worsened abnormal cell differentiation and proliferation; Mucous cell metaplasia in common inflammatory diseases, smooth muscle cells hyperplasia in pulmonary hypertension, Asthma, COPD and abnormal proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cell types in lung cancer as well. He is investigating molecular mechanisms underlying organogenesis and cell differentiation in the lung using mouse genetics and molecular biology. His recent study discovered that two types of Notch signaling are used reiteratively to organize three epithelial major cell types; Clara (secretary), ciliated cells and neuroendocrine (NE) cells. Further significant differences emerged between the selection of Clara/ciliated cells and size regulation of NE cell clusters. Notch signals coordinate the number and distribution of the major epithelial cell types of the conducting airway in lung organogenesis.
Mammalian Development Laboratory • Saga Group