Takashi Matsui

Takashi Matsui (photo courtesy of UH Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine)

The American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology conducted its first-ever podcast in both English and Japanese, which will feature University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Takashi Matsui. The John A. Burns School of Medicine associate professor is examining new treatments to prevent heart attack and heart failure.

He was invited to take part in the podcast because the journal considers him a leading expert in cardiovascular research. Along with Associate Editor Masafumi Kitakaze, Matsui interviewed Toshio Nagai of the Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine about a review article, “Gene and Cytokine Therapies for Heart Failure,” published in the journal.

“The John A. Burns School of Medicine was founded to provide medical knowledge to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region, and the recognition of Dr. Takashi Matsui as an expert and his participation in this new bilingual podcast illustrates how we work to build academic bridges locally and around the world,” said School of Medicine Dean Jerris Hedges.

Matsui targets treatments to prevent diabetic heart failure

“Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and heart failure are major concerns in public health of Hawaiʻi because risk factors of these diseases such as diabetes and obesity are commonly observed here,” said Matsui. “Therefore, to develop novel therapeutic approaches to preventing or treating the diseases is very important in this community.”

The Matsui Laboratory investigates signal transduction pathways that play an important role in myocardial infarction and cardiac hypertrophy, two important precipitants of heart failure. Matsui focuses on the role of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), which is a key molecule of insulin receptor signaling pathway in the heart.

Because of the important role of mTOR in insulin signaling, Matsui’s lab is working to determine the role of mTOR in diabetic hearts, and exploring the mTOR signaling pathway as a novel therapeutic target for treatment of heart failure in diabetes.

This project has been being supported by his NIH R01 grant since 2010. R01 grants are the original and historically oldest grant mechanism used by National Institutes of Health, awarded to proven scientists for specific research.


—Adapted from a UH Mānoa news release

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