Mentor: Dr. Sasha Singh
Dr. Taku Kasai earned his PhD (Pharmaceutical Sciences) in 2014 from Kanazawa University, Japan in the laboratory of Professor Ikumi Tamai. He investigated the expression of prostaglandin transporter (OATP2A1/SLCO2A1) in human colorectal cancer-derived cell lines and clarified the role of the transporter in regulating prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in response to inflammatory and oxidative stress. OATP2A1 is expressed in plasma membrane, but also in the cytoplasmic domain of human colorectal cancer-derived cells. OATP2A1 is involved in the secretion of PGE2 in an exocytotic manner, a new finding that may contribute to controlling tumor progression induced by angiogenic signaling. After obtaining his PhD, Dr. Kasai joined Tokyo New Drug Research Lab., Kowa Company Ltd. His primary role was to evaluate the pharmacokinetic properties of new drug candidates for safety and efficacy, to predict their behaviors in humans. Dr. Kasai is, therefore, experienced in using a variety of in vitro methods to evaluate drug permeability, drug metabolism, drug-drug interactions, and drug-protein interactions. In addition, he is very experienced in pharmacokinetic profiling in animals. He has also developed mass spectrometry methods for numerous compounds. In January 2022, Dr. Kasai joined CICS, representing Kowa as a research fellow in the Proteomics Group led by Dr. Sasha Singh. He is focusing on mass spectrometry-based protein research, with the aim to develop novel technologies and help his colleagues to achieve their research goals.