Mari Dezawa, MD, PhD

Mari Dezawa

Professor and Chairman, Division of Stem Cell Biology and Histology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Education and Career

  • M.D. (Chiba Univ. Sch.Med.), 1989
  • Ph.D. (Chiba Univ. Grad. Sch. Med.), 1995
  • Research Associate (Chiba Univ. Grad. Sch. Med.), 1995-2000
  • Assistant Professor (Yokohama City Univ. Grad. Sch. Med.), 2000-2003
  • Associate Professor (Kyoto Univ. Grad. Sch. Med.), 2003-2008
  • Professor (Tohoku Univ. Grad. Sch. Med.), 4/2008-present

Major Research Interests

  • Tissue stem cells are present in every adult tissue and generally exist in a dormant state. When a tissue undergoes stress or is in a critical state, the inherent stem cells are activated by an as yet-to-be-defined signal to re-enter the cell cycle for self-renewal and differentiation into cells that aid in reconstruction of that tissue. In this manner, tissue stem cells participate in maintenance of homeostasis at the cell- or tissue-level. In our research, we seek to clarify how the signals aroused from neighboring cells or from other tissues regulate the maintenance, proliferation and differentiation of tissue stem cells, and how the tissue stem cell network is related to the maintenance of vital tissue functions. Our ultimate goal is to develop stem cell biology from a new perspective. By identifying multi-potential stem cells contained in the bone marrow stromal cell population that can be experimentally manipulated to differentiate into cells that have the potential to trans-differentiate and contribute to the repair of other tissue types, we believe we are making unique contributions to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

Publications and Awards

  1. Matsuse D, Kitada M, Kohama M, Nishikawa K, Makinoshima H, Wakao S, Fujiyoshi Y, Heike T, Nakahata T, Akutsu H, Umezawa A, Harigae H, Kira J, Dezawa M. Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stromal cells differentiate into the functional Schwann cells that sustain peripheral nerve regeneration. J. Neuropath Exp. Neurol. 69(9):973-85(2010)
  2. Kuroda Y, Kitada M, Wakao S, Nishikawa K, Tanimura Y, Makinoshima H, Goda M, Akashi H, Inutsuka A, Niwa A, Shigemoto T, Nabeshima Y, Nakahata T, Nabeshima Y, Fujiyoshi Y, and Dezawa M. Unique multipotent cells in adult human mesenchymal cell populations. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.
  3. Dezawa M, Ishikawa H, Itokazu Y, Yoshihara T, Hoshino M, Takeda S, Ide C, Nabeshima Y. Bone marrow stromal cells generate muscle cells and repair muscle degeneration. Science
    309(5732):314-317 (2005)
  4. Dezawa M, Kanno H, Hoshino M, Cho H, Matsumoto N, Itokazu Y, Tajima N, Yamada H, Sawada H, Ishikawa H, Mimura T, Kitada M, Suzuki Y, Ide C. Specific induction of neuronal cells from bone marrow stromal cells andapplication for autologous transplantation. J Clin Invest.
    113(12):1701-1710 (2004)
  5. The research of mesenchymal stem cells aiming for cell-based therapy. (Mari Dezawa). The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Prizes for Science and Technology, Research Category 2011, April.


  • mdezawa[atmark]


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