Takashi SUGITA, Ph.D., Professor
The importance of systemic mycoses in opportunistic infections that occur with severe underlying diseases, such as those associated with malignant tumors, organ transplants, and immunodeficiency, has been increasing in Japan and elsewhere. The research conducted in the Laboratory of Microbiology focuses on the yeast-like fungi in the genera Candida, Cryptococcus, and Trichosporon that cause deep-seated fungal infections. Recent research has suggested roles for microorganisms in the development of skin lesions. We observed the participation of Malassezia species in atopic dermatitis. Our ongoing major projects are the characterization and regulation of molecules that contribute to our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of mycoses and fungal-related diseases using biochemical and molecular biological approaches. Studies on yeasts as a bioresource are also in progress. Our investigations range from basic science to applied clinical studies. Some of the insights that we have gained have been successfully applied to the identification of isolates, diagnosis, and treatment.