Graduate program alumnus, Koji Yashiro, PhD, has accepted a position with Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and ranks seventeenth in global pharmaceutical revenues. The research facility is located in the city of Tsukuba, the center for research in Japan. Koji will join the Department of Urology and work to discover new drugs for lower urinary tract indications and sexual dysfunction.
Astellas is the parent company of Urogenix, Inc, where Koji spent the last two years as a postdoctoral fellow after completing his dissertation work in the Philpot lab in 2008. Koji's selection for this position is a testament to how well he performed during his time with Urogenix. Koji relates his current work to his studies in the department, saying, "Graduates from the Department of Physiology have a significant advantage at pharmaceutical companies. Because drugs work not only on targeted organs but also on others to produce unwanted side effects, we always need to think about the physiology of the whole body. It was good that I was exposed to many aspects of physiology though classes, seminars, and interactions with friendly faculty members in the Department."