Kenji Kabashima

Kenji Kabashima
Dr Kenji Kabashima
Senior Principal Investigator

Research themes:
Inflammation & Immunology


Dr. Kabashima was born in Japan in 1970. He graduated from Kyoto University in 1996 and was trained in Medicine/Dermatology at the United States Naval Hospital in Yokosuka Japan, Kyoto University Hospital, and University of Washington Medical Center. He started research on bioactive lipid mediators at Kyoto University, which led to a PhD (under Prof. Shuh Narumiya). Then he studied at the Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine (Prof. Yoshiki Miyachi), UCSF (Prof. Jason Cyster), and University of Occupational and Environmental Health (Prof. Yoshiki Tokura). Currently, he is a chair/professor at the Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, a principal investigator at the SRIS/SIgN, Singapore, and visiting consultant at the National Skin Centre, Singapore. His hobbies are marathon (sub 3hr), trail running (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 170 km), climbing, and travelling.

Research interests
Dr. Kabashima has dedicated efforts through his carrier in treating atopic dermatitis (AD) patients and researching on the pathogenesis of AD in mice and humans for the past 20 years as a committee member of the guidelines on AD domestically and internationally. He proposed the pathogenesis of AD: interplay among the barrier, allergy, and pruritus as a trinity, which is the novel concept that AD develops as result of interplay among multiple physiological systems. Since then, he has been interested in the interplay among different physiological systems, including immunity, nervous system, barrier, and environmental factors. Among these factors, he is most interested in the skin barrier functions, which seem to be the initiator and key player of allergic diseases. When he was a PhD student in Kyoto University (mentor; Prof. Shuh Narumiya), he studied the role of lipid mediators in the regulation of skin homeostasis. Since his postdoc period at UCSF in USA (mentor: Prof. Jason Cyster), he has been interested in visualizing the murine and human skin in a non-invasive manner using the two-photon microscope. Since then, he has generated gene-targeted mice and fluorescent chemical probes to visualize immune cells and other non-immune cells/structures as a world leader in this field. These approaches will be useful to address the mechanism of skin homeostasis and its collapse in a spatiotemporal manner.

Selected publications
Kabashima K, Honda T, Ginhoux F, Egawa G. The immunological anatomy of the skin. Nat Rev Immunol. 2019 Jan;19(1):19-30. doi: 10.1038/s41577-018-0084-5. PMID: 30429578.

Dainichi T, Kitoh A, Otsuka A, Nakajima S, Nomura T, Kaplan DH, Kabashima K. The epithelial immune microenvironment (EIME) in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Nat Immunol. 2018 Dec;19(12):1286-1298. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0256-2. Epub 2018 Nov 16. PMID: 30446754.

Ruzicka T, Hanifin JM, Furue M, Pulka G, Mlynarczyk I, Wollenberg A, Galus R, Etoh T, Mihara R, Yoshida H, Stewart J, Kabashima K; XCIMA Study Group. Anti-Interleukin-31 Receptor A Antibody for Atopic Dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2017 Mar 2;376(9):826-835. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1606490. PMID: 28249150.

Natsuaki Y, Egawa G, Nakamizo S, Ono S, Hanakawa S, Okada T, Kusuba N, Otsuka A, Kitoh A, Honda T, Nakajima S, Tsuchiya S, Sugimoto Y, Ishii KJ, Tsutsui H, Yagita H, Iwakura Y, Kubo M, Ng Lg, Hashimoto T, Fuentes J, Guttman-Yassky E, Miyachi Y, Kabashima K. Perivascular leukocyte clusters are essential for efficient activation of effector T cells in the skin. Nat Immunol. 2014 Nov;15(11):1064-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.2992. Epub 2014 Sep 21. PMID: 25240383.

Kabashima K, Banks TA, Ansel KM, Lu TT, Ware CF, Cyster JG. Intrinsic lymphotoxin-beta receptor requirement for homeostasis of lymphoid tissue dendritic cells. Immunity. 2005 Apr;22(4):439-50. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2005.02.007. PMID: 15845449.