His achievements, along with his relationship with many famous gastroenterologists, opened the door at Harvard Medical School and American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) for Japanese researchers. Professor Daniel Podolsky was then Chief of the GI unit of Massachusetts’ General Hospital in the
Harvard Medical School at that time, later becoming President of the AGA, and is now President of the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. Podolsky helped Mamoru personally, as well as, through him, becoming a good friend of the Japanese Society of the Gastroenterology (JSGE). In April 2000, Dr Watanabe accepted the position of Professor and Chairman, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, where he currently see more serves. He also leads two other clinical gastroenterology divisions, the Department of Endoscopy and the Advanced Clinical Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. At Tokyo Medical and Dental University, his work continues to have a tremendous impact and he and his team have met numerous challenges both in the research field and in clinical care. Dr Watanabe has used his expertise to mentor many co-investigators in clinical sciences and trials,
to advance basic research and the principles of evidence-based medicine. His extraordinary professional standards always provide inspiration to all those with whom he works. This has built up the Division of Gastroenterology at Tokyo Medical and Dental University with talented faculty members and gastroenterologists, comprising an unprecedented I-BET-762 mw intellectual environment. It is no surprise that his currently leading department has become an extremely popular
GI center for training and research among Japanese schools and institutes. Mamoru Watanabe’s research interests are in immune-modulating therapy for IBD, cellular and molecular biological aspects of IBD, mucosal immunology, molecular biological aspects of inflammation-related carcinogenesis, and regeneration and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells. Most recently, he has turned his attention to intestinal epithelial stem cell biology. An STK38 early discovery was the recognition that interleukin (IL)-7 is an essential factor for the pathogenesis of IBD, being responsible for the persistence of chronic T cell-mediated colitis. Mamoru has shown that IL-7 is constitutively produced by intestinal goblet cells. He is the first scientist who found the critical role of IL-7 in mucosal immunology and this ground-breaking paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 1995. IL-7 transgenic mice develop colitis that mimics the histopathological characteristics of human IBD (J Exp Med 1998). CD4+ T cells that express high levels of IL-7Rα reside in inflamed lamina propria (LP) (Journal of Immunology [JI] 2003, JI 2011) and IL-7–/– mice do not develop colitis (JI 2007).