Hiroaki Shimokawa, MD, PhD

Hiroaki Shimokawa

Professor and Chairman, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Education and Career

  • M.D. (Kyushu University), 1979
  • Ph.D. (Kyushu University), 1985
  • Research Fellow, Mayo Clinic, USA, 1985
  • Adjunctive Associate Professor, Kyushu University, 1992
  • Associate Professor, Kyushu University, 1995
  • Professor, Tohoku University, 2005

Narrative Description of Research

  1. Dr. Shimokawa's laboratory is interested in the mechanisms for coronary atherosclerosis and vasospasm. His laboratory was the first to develop an animal model of coronary vasospasm and to demonstrate the involvement of Rho-kinase up-regulation in the pathogenesis of the spasm both in animals and humans as well as in that of atherosclerosis in animal models. Based on these findings, a specific Rho-kinase inhibitor has been developed and now in clinical trials for angina pectoris, cerebral vasospasm, and pulmonary hypertension.
  2. Dr. Shimokawa's laboratory is also interested in endothelium-derived relaxing factors (EDRFs), especially with regard to the mechanisms for endothelial dysfunction and the nature of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). His laboratory has demonstrated the mechanism for endothelial dysfunction after regeneration and in atherosclerosis and the beneficial effect of fish oils and eicosapentaenoic acid on endothelial function. Recently, his group has identified that endothelium-derived hydrogen peroxide (H202) is an EDHF in animals and humans, which has been supported by many groups worldwide.
  3. Finally, Dr. Shimokawa's laboratory is interested in applying the recent advances in biomedical engineering to cardiovascular medicine. This includes application of nanotechnology for the prevention of restenosis and the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, extracorporeal shock wave therapy for severe ischemic heart disease, and development of functioning contrast medium that can detect the alterations in vascular characteristics, such as endothelial detachment and increase in temperature. His group has already obtained initial positive results with those projects.


  • shimo[atmark]


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