Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Center
Research Interests: Immunotherapy, gene therapy
Dr. Kasahara has been working in the field of cancer research and gene therapy vector development for over 30 years.
Dr. Kasahara's research focuses on the improvement of vector technologies to make gene therapy more practical and clinically useful. To do so, the Kasahara Lab has pursued strategies for utilizing conventional vectors more efficaciously when applied to specific diseases, and developing the next generation of viral vectors for more efficient gene delivery. They have most recently developed novel vector systems that include cancer-targeted viruses, chimeric hybrid viral vectors, and tumor-selectively replicating viruses.
In the past decade, novel vector technologies and therapeutic strategies developed by the Kasahara Lab have been translated into the clinic, and some are now showing promising therapeutic results in first-in-human clinical trials for patients with brain tumors. For example, one such candidate has shown highly promising evidence of therapeutic efficacy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma (HGG), receiving a ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ designation from FDA, and is currently being evaluated in an international Phase III trial for this for HGG.
1986: MB, Tokyo Medical & Dental University, Japan
1993: MD, Tokyo Medical & Dental University, Japan
1994: PhD, Interdepartmental Program in Endocrinology, UCSF
1995: Postdoctoral Fellow HHMI, Kan Lab, UCSF
1996-2002: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pathology / Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Southern California (USC)
2003-2014: Director, Vector Core Facility, Institute for Genetic Medicine, USC
2003-2008: Associate Professor, Dept. of Medicine / Dept. of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA
2003-2014: Director, Vector Core & Shared Resource, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA
2008-2014: Professor, Dept. of Medicine / Dept. of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA
2014-2017: Co-Leader, Viral Oncology Program, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami
2014-2018: Professor, Dept. of Cell Biology / Dept. of Pathology, University of Miami
2018-Present: Professor, Dept. of Neurological Surgery / Dept. of Radiation Oncology, UCSF
2006: Clinical Impact Award, Global Life Science Innovation Competition, UCSF / QB3
1998: Cooley's Anemia Foundation, New Investigator Award
1996: Stop Cancer Foundation, Career Development Award