Bio


My long-term goal is to become a physician scientist and develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for patients with cardiovascular disease. Based on my experience as a cardiologist for the past 5 years, I have become aware of major clinical shortcomings, specifically in the current pharmaceutical therapies for myocardial infarction (MI) and chronic heart failure (HF). Some evidence-based drug therapies, including β-blockers, ivabradine, and renin–angiotensin–aldosterone antagonists are difficult to apply to critical patients due to adverse side effects. Drugs that have shown efficacy in basic animal experiments have failed to show significant benefits in clinical trials. To address these problems, I moved to academia to conduct translational research. During my graduate training in the Egashira Lab, I focused on drug delivery systems (DDS) that target mitochondria in animal models of MI. I obtained advanced skills in molecular biology, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and animal surgery. I realized the importance of translational research and the great potential of DDS to overcome many clinical problems. I developed nanoparticle-mediated DDS containing cyclosporine for the treatment of patients with MI. I published a first author paper and received academic awards for my novel science. Since becoming a postdoctoral fellow in the Yang Lab, I have continued to build upon my previous training in translational research. I am currently developing an innovative therapy, namely, extracellular vesicles-mediated mitochondrial transfer for the failing heart.

Honors & Awards


  • Young Investigator Award Finalist, American College of Cardiology (2020)
  • AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association (2020)
  • Stanford Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University (2019)
  • Japan Heart Foundation / Bayer Research Grant Abroad, Japan Heart Foundation (2017)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Kyushu University, Japan (2016)
  • MD, Showa University, Japan (2007)

All Publications


  • SULFATED DEXTRAN-COATED IRON OXIDE NANOPARTICLES DETECT INFLAMMATION IN THE PERI-INFARCT REGION POST-ACUTE MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION Tada, Y., Ikeda, G., Louie, A., Yang, P. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2020: 1792
  • MITOCHONDRIA CONTAINING EXTRACELLULAR VESICLES FROM AUTOLOGOUS INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELL DERIVED CARDIOMYOCYTES RESTORE BIOENERGETICS IN ISCHEMIC MYOCARDIUM Ikeda, G., Santoso, M., Tada, Y., Vaskova, E., O'Brien, C. G., Jung, J., Yang, P. C. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2020: 3659
  • Exosomes From Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Promote Autophagy for Myocardial Repair. Journal of the American Heart Association Santoso, M. R., Ikeda, G., Tada, Y., Jung, J., Vaskova, E., Sierra, R. G., Gati, C., Goldstone, A. B., von Bornstaedt, D., Shukla, P., Wu, J. C., Wakatsuki, S., Woo, Y. J., Yang, P. C. 2020; 9 (6): e014345

    Abstract

    Background Induced pluripotent stem cells and their differentiated cardiomyocytes (iCMs) have tremendous potential as patient-specific therapy for ischemic cardiomyopathy following myocardial infarctions, but difficulties in viable transplantation limit clinical translation. Exosomes secreted from iCMs (iCM-Ex) can be robustly collected in vitro and injected in lieu of live iCMs as a cell-free therapy for myocardial infarction. Methods and Results iCM-Ex were precipitated from iCM supernatant and characterized by protein marker expression, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and functionalized nanogold transmission electron microscopy. iCM-Ex were then used in in vitro and in vivo models of ischemic injuries. Cardiac function in vivo was evaluated by left ventricular ejection fraction and myocardial viability measurements by magnetic resonance imaging. Cardioprotective mechanisms were studied by JC-1 (tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide) assay, immunohistochemistry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, transmission electron microscopy, and immunoblotting. iCM-Ex measured 140nm and expressed CD63 and CD9. iCM and iCM-Ex microRNA profiles had significant overlap, indicating that exosomal content was reflective of the parent cell. Mice treated with iCM-Ex demonstrated significant cardiac improvement post-myocardial infarction, with significantly reduced apoptosis and fibrosis. In vitro iCM apoptosis was significantly reduced by hypoxia and exosome biogenesis inhibition and restored by treatment with iCM-Ex or rapamycin. Autophagosome production and autophagy flux was upregulated in iCM-Ex groups in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions iCM-Ex improve post-myocardial infarction cardiac function by regulating autophagy in hypoxic cardiomyoytes, enabling a cell-free, patient-specific therapy for ischemic cardiomyopathy.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/JAHA.119.014345

    View details for PubMedID 32131688

  • Meta-analysis of short- and long-term efficacy of mononuclear cell transplantation in patients with myocardial infarction. American heart journal Yang, D., O'Brien, C. G., Ikeda, G., Traverse, J. H., Taylor, D. A., Henry, T. D., Bolli, R., Yang, P. C. 2019; 220: 155–75

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Mononuclear cells (MNCs) have been tested in clinical trials across multiple cardiovascular pathologies with mixed results. Major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and markers of cardiovascular capacity have been particularly challenging to interpret because of small size. This meta-analysis is aimed to assess the efficacy of MNC therapy in randomized clinical trials to identify the markers of efficiency that could influence future trial design.METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception through November 8, 2018. Changes in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and infarct size from baseline to follow-up were selected as primary outcomes. Changes in the left ventricular end-systolic volume, left ventricular end-diastolic volume, brain natriuretic peptide/N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, 6-minute walk test, New York Heart Association class, and MACE incidences were considered secondary outcomes.RESULTS: In short-term follow-up, patients treated with MNCs demonstrated a significant increase in absolute LVEF of 2.21% (95% CI 1.59-2.83; P < .001; I2 = 32%) and 6.01% (95% CI 4.45-7.57; P < .001; I2 = 0%) in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and ischemic cardiomyopathy studies, respectively. This effect was sustained in long-term follow-up. MNC therapy significantly reduced left ventricular end-systolic volume; however, infarct size, 6-minute walk test, New York Heart Association class, and MACE rates were comparable.CONCLUSIONS: MNC therapy may convey a modest but sustained increase in LVEF in ischemic cardiomyopathy patients, supporting further investigation. AMI trials, however, demonstrated minimal improvement in LVEF of unclear clinical significance, suggesting a limited role for MNC therapy in AMI.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ahj.2019.09.005

    View details for PubMedID 31821904

  • MICROVESICLES LARGER THAN 200NM RESCUE CARDIOMYOCYTES FROM DOXORUBICIN INJURY IN A PATIENT-SPECIFIC MODEL OF ANTHRACYCLINE INDUCED CARDIOMYOPATHY O'Brien, C., Shi, L., Ozgun, M., Vaskova, E., Santoso, M., Jung, J., Ikeda, G., Demirci, U., Yang, P. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2019: 688
  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Pitavastatin to Monocytes/Macrophages Inhibits Left Ventricular Remodeling After Acute Myocardial Infarction by Inhibiting Monocyte-Mediated Inflammation INTERNATIONAL HEART JOURNAL Mao, Y., Koga, J., Tokutome, M., Matoba, T., Ikeda, G., Nakano, K., Egashira, K. 2017; 58 (4): 615–23

    Abstract

    Left ventricular (LV) remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) causes heart failure. Although medical therapies including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors show inhibitory effects on post-infarct LV remodeling, the prognosis of patients with post-infarct heart failure is still poor. Accumulating evidence suggests that an inflammatory response is implicated in the process of post-infarct LV remodeling. Therefore, we hypothesized that anti-inflammatory therapy by nanoparticle-mediated monocyte/macrophage-targeting delivery of pitavastatin may protect the heart from post-infarct LV remodeling.Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to permanent coronary ligation and pitavastatin-incorporating nanoparticles (Pitavastatin-NPs) were intravenously injected for 3 to 5 consecutive days. Pitavastatin-NPs were delivered to CD11b+ monocytes/macrophages, but not to cardiomyocytes. Treatment with Pitavastatin-NPs after establishment of MI attenuated post-infarct LV remodeling accompanied by a reduction of monocytes/macrophages in the heart, whereas pitavastatin solution treatment did not. Pitavastatin-NPs inhibited mobilization of monocytes from the spleen after MI. In mice after splenectomy, Pitavastatin-NPs still decreased the number of monocytes/macrophages in the infarcted heart and inhibited post-infarct LV remodeling.Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of pitavastatin to monocytes/macrophages may be a novel therapeutic strategy to protect the heart from post-infarct LV remodeling. Inhibition of monocyte mobilization from the bone marrow is one of the major mechanisms by which Pitavastatin-NPs attenuated post-infarct LV remodeling.

    View details for PubMedID 28701679

  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Irbesartan Induces Cardioprotection from Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury by Antagonizing Monocyte-Mediated Inflammation SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Nakano, Y., Matoba, T., Tokutome, M., Funamoto, D., Katsuki, S., Ikeda, G., Nagaoka, K., Ishikita, A., Nakano, K., Koga, J., Sunagawa, K., Egashira, K. 2016; 6: 29601

    Abstract

    Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury limits the therapeutic effect of early reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), in which the recruitment of inflammatory monocytes plays a causative role. Here we develop bioabsorbable poly-lactic/glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles incorporating irbesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ agonistic effect (irbesartan-NP). In a mouse model of IR injury, intravenous PLGA nanoparticles distribute to the IR myocardium and monocytes in the blood and in the IR heart. Single intravenous treatment at the time of reperfusion with irbesartan-NP (3.0 mg kg(-1) irbesartan), but not with control nanoparticles or irbesartan solution (3.0 mg kg(-1)), inhibits the recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to the IR heart, and reduces the infarct size via PPARγ-dependent anti-inflammatory mechanisms, and ameliorates left ventricular remodeling 21 days after IR. Irbesartan-NP is a novel approach to treat myocardial IR injury in patients with AMI.

    View details for PubMedID 27403534

  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Mitochondrial Division Inhibitor 1 to the Myocardium Protects the Heart From Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Through Inhibition of Mitochondria Outer Membrane Permeabilization: A New Therapeutic Modality for Acute Myocardial Infarction JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION Ishikita, A., Matoba, T., Ikeda, G., Koga, J., Mao, Y., Nakano, K., Takeuchi, O., Sadoshima, J., Egashira, K. 2016; 5 (7)

    Abstract

    Mitochondria-mediated cell death plays a critical role in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. We hypothesized that nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery of mitochondrial division inhibitor 1 (Mdivi1) protects hearts from IR injury through inhibition of mitochondria outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), which causes mitochondrial-mediated cell death.We formulated poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles containing Mdivi1 (Mdivi1-NP). We recently demonstrated that these nanoparticles could be successfully delivered to the cytosol and mitochondria of cardiomyocytes under H2O2-induced oxidative stress that mimicked IR injury. Pretreatment with Mdivi1-NP ameliorated H2O2-induced cell death in rat neonatal cardiomyocytes more potently than Mdivi1 alone, as indicated by a lower estimated half-maximal effective concentration and greater maximal effect on cell survival. Mdivi1-NP treatment of Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts through the coronary arteries at the time of reperfusion reduced infarct size after IR injury more effectively than Mdivi1 alone. Mdivi1-NP treatment also inhibited Drp1-mediated Bax translocation to the mitochondria and subsequent cytochrome c leakage into the cytosol, namely, MOMP, in mouse IR hearts. MOMP inhibition was also observed in cyclophilin D knockout (CypD-KO) mice, which lack the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening. Intravenous Mdivi1-NP treatment in vivo at the time of reperfusion reduced IR injury in wild-type and CypD-KO mice, but not Bax-KO mice.Mdivi1-NP treatment reduced IR injury through inhibition of MOMP, even in the absence of a CypD/MPTP opening. Thus, nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery of Mdivi1 may be a novel treatment strategy for IR injury.

    View details for PubMedID 27451459

  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Targeting of Cyclosporine A Enhances Cardioprotection Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Through Inhibition of Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Opening SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Ikeda, G., Matoba, T., Nakano, Y., Nagaoka, K., Ishikita, A., Nakano, K., Funamoto, D., Sunagawa, K., Egashira, K. 2016; 6: 20467

    Abstract

    Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury limits the therapeutic effects of early reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction (MI), in which mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening plays a critical role. Our aim was to determine whether poly-lactic/glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticle-mediated mitochondrial targeting of a molecule that inhibits mPTP opening, cyclosporine A (CsA), enhances CsA-induced cardioprotection. In an in vivo murine IR model, intravenously injected PLGA nanoparticles were located at the IR myocardium mitochondria. Treatment with nanoparticles incorporated with CsA (CsA-NP) at the onset of reperfusion enhanced cardioprotection against IR injury by CsA alone (as indicated by the reduced MI size at a lower CsA concentration) through the inhibition of mPTP opening. Left ventricular remodeling was ameliorated 28 days after IR, but the treatment did not affect inflammatory monocyte recruitment to the IR heart. In cultured rat cardiomyocytes in vitro, mitochondrial PLGA nanoparticle-targeting was observed after the addition of hydrogen peroxide, which represents oxidative stress during IR, and was prevented by CsA. CsA-NP can be developed as an effective mPTP opening inhibitor and may protect organs from IR injury.

    View details for PubMedID 26861678

  • Nanoparticle-mediated Simultaneous Targeting to Mitochondria and Inflammatory Monocytes Confers Additive Cardioprotection Against Myocardial Ischemia-reperfusion Injury Ikeda, G., Matoba, T., Ishikita, A., Egashira, K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2015
  • Nanoparticle-mediated Targeting of a Chemical Inhibitor of Drp1 to the Mitochondria Induces Cardioprotection From Myocardial Ischemia-reperfusion Injury Ishikita, A., Matoba, T., Ikeda, G., Egashira, K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2015
  • A New Therapeutic Modality for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Pitavastatin Induces Cardioprotection from Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury via Activation of PI3K/Akt Pathway and Anti-Inflammation in a Rat Model PLOS ONE Nagaoka, K., Matoba, T., Mao, Y., Nakano, Y., Ikeda, G., Egusa, S., Tokutome, M., Nagahama, R., Nakano, K., Sunagawa, K., Egashira, K. 2015; 10 (7): e0132451

    Abstract

    There is an unmet need to develop an innovative cardioprotective modality for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), for which the effectiveness of interventional reperfusion therapy is hampered by myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. Pretreatment with statins before ischemia is shown to reduce MI size in animals. However, no benefit was found in animals and patients with AMI when administered at the time of reperfusion, suggesting insufficient drug targeting into the IR myocardium. Here we tested the hypothesis that nanoparticle-mediated targeting of pitavastatin protects the heart from IR injury.In a rat IR model, poly(lactic acid/glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle incorporating FITC accumulated in the IR myocardium through enhanced vascular permeability, and in CD11b-positive leukocytes in the IR myocardium and peripheral blood after intravenous treatment. Intravenous treatment with PLGA nanoparticle containing pitavastatin (Pitavastatin-NP, 1 mg/kg) at reperfusion reduced MI size after 24 hours and ameliorated left ventricular dysfunction 4-week after reperfusion; by contrast, pitavastatin alone (as high as 10 mg/kg) showed no therapeutic effects. The therapeutic effects of Pitavastatin-NP were blunted by a PI3K inhibitor wortmannin, but not by a mitochondrial permeability transition pore inhibitor cyclosporine A. Pitavastatin-NP induced phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3β, and inhibited inflammation and cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the IR myocardium.Nanoparticle-mediated targeting of pitavastatin induced cardioprotection from IR injury by activation of PI3K/Akt pathway and inhibition of inflammation and cardiomyocyte death in this model. This strategy can be developed as an innovative cardioprotective modality that may advance currently unsatisfactory reperfusion therapy for AMI.

    View details for PubMedID 26167913

  • Nanoparticles-Mediated Delivery of Irbesartan Reduces Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury via PPAR?-Dependent Anti-Inflammatory Mechanisms in Mice Nakano, Y., Matoba, T., Ikeda, G., Nagaoka, K., Nakano, K., Sunagawa, K., Egashira, K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2013
  • Nanoparticle-Mediated Targeting of Cyclosporine A to Mitochondria in Reperfused Myocardium Enhances Cardioprotection From Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Ikeda, G. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2013
  • A Novel Multi-Targeting Approach for Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Irbesartan Reduces Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Mice Nakano, Y., Matoba, T., Ikeda, G., Nagaoka, K., Nakano, K., Sunagawa, K., Egashira, K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2012