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Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Specialty Areas:  Pathophysiology of airway mucociliary clearance, airway mucus biology, cystic fibrosis

Chronology:  2010; MD: Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan, 2010-2012; Resident: Sunagawa City Medical Center, Hokkaido, Japan, 2012-2015; Pulmonology Fellow: Tokyo National Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, 2015-2016; Medical staff: Department of Respiratory Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, 2016-2019; Postdoctoral Research Associate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019; PhD: The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, 2019-2021; Research Associate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2021-present; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Okuda’s overall research interest focuses on how the mucociliary clearance (MCC) system is regulated to maintain homeostasis in the lung and how it fails in muco-obstructive lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF). During the training period under Dr. Richard Boucher’s supervision, Dr. Okuda successfully characterized the regional expression patterns of major airway secretory mucins, MUC5AC/MUC5B, and CFTR/ionocytes in normal and CF human airways. These investigations provide the reagents and techniques for his career. Dr. Okuda has extensive experience in handling single cells obtained from in vivo and in vitro materials for single cell-based transcriptomic analysis. Further, he has developed microdissection techniques for human small airways and in vitro and explant small airway epithelial cell cultures to study small airway-specific biology.  Also, given the emergent situation caused by SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Dr. Okuda has been actively engaged in collaborations with Dr. Ralph Baric lab at UNC to utilize his skills and materials for COVID-19 studies. Based on these research interests and experience, Dr. Okuda’s long-term career goal is to work, as a professional physician-scientist, toward a full understanding of the MCC system in the lung and contribute to the improvement of the prognosis in all patients with muco-obstructive lung diseases.

 

Selected Bibliography (reverse chronological order).

1) Kenichi Okuda, Scott H. Randell, Susan E. Birket. The big impact of small airway pH. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2021. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2021-0070ED. Epub ahead of print.

2) Ni Huang, Paola Perez, Takafumi Kato, Yu Mikami, Kenichi Okuda, Rodney C. Gilmore, Cecilia Domínguez Conde, Billel Gasmi, Sydney Stein, Margaret Beach, Eileen Pelayo, Jose O. Maldonado, Bernard A. Lafont, Shyh-Ing Jang, Nadia Nasir, Ricardo Padilla, Valerie Murrah, Robert Maile, Will Lovell, Shannon Wallet, Natalie M. Bowman, Suzanne L. Meinig, Matthew C. Wolfgang, Saibyasachi N. Choudhury, Mark Novotny, Brian D. Aevermann, Richard Scheuermann, Gabrielle Cannon, Carlton Anderson, Rhianna Lee, Julie Marchesan, Mandy Bush, Marcelo Freire, Adam Kimple, Daniel L. Herr, Joseph Rabin, Alison Grazioli, Sanchita Das, Benjamin N. French, Thomas Pranzatelli, John A. Chiorini, David E. Kleiner, Stefania Pittaluga, Stephen M. Hewitt, Peter D. Burbelo, Daniel Chertow, NIH COVID-19 Autopsy Consortium, HCA Oral and Craniofacial Biological Network, Karen Frank, Janice Lee, Richard C. Boucher, Sarah A. Teichmann, Blake M. Warner & Kevin M. Byrd. SARS-CoV-2 infection of the oral cavity and saliva. Nat Med 2021. 27(5):892-903.

3) Kenichi Okuda, Hong Dang, Yoshihiko Kobayashi, Gianni Carraro, Satoko Nakano, Selene Margarita Barbosa Cardenas, Yvonne K. O’Neal, Takafumi Kato, Gang Chen, Rhianna E. Lee, Rodney C. Gilmore, Caroline E. Minnick, Michael Chua, Nancy L. Quinney, Martina Gentzsch, Carlton W. Anderson, Andrew Ghio, Hirotoshi Matsui, Takahide Nagase, Scott H. Randell, Barry R. Stripp, Purushothama Rao Tata, Wanda K. O’Neal, Richard C. Boucher. Secretory cells dominate airway CFTR expression and function in superficial epithelia lining human airways. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021. 203(10): 1275-1289.

4) Hou YJ, Chiba S, Halfmann P, Ehre C, Kuroda M, Dinnon KH 3rd, Leist SR, Schäfer A, Nakajima N, Takahashi K, Lee RE, Mascenik TM, Graham R, Edwards CE, Tse LV, Okuda K, Markmann AJ, Bartelt L, de Silva A, Margolis DM, Boucher RC, Randell SH, Suzuki T, Gralinski LE, Kawaoka Y, Baric RS. SARS-CoV-2 D614G variant exhibits efficient replication ex vivo and transmission in vivo. Science 2020; 370(6523): 1464-1468.

5) Sarah R. Leist, Kenneth H. Dinnon III, Alexandra Schäfer, Longping V. Tse, Kenichi Okuda, Yixuan J. Hou, Ande West, Caitlin E. Edwards, Wes Sanders, Ethan J. Fritch, Kendra L. Gully, Trevor Scobey, Ariane J. Brown, Timothy P. Sheahan, Nathaniel J. Moorman, Richard C. Boucher, Lisa E. Gralinski, Stephanie A. Montgomery, Ralph S. Baric. A mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 induces acute lung injury (ALI) and mortality in standard laboratory mice. Cell 2020; 183(4): 1070-1085.

6) Naoya Miyashita, Masafumi Horie, Hiroshi I Suzuki, Minako Saito, Yu Mikami, Kenichi Okuda, Richard C Boucher, Maho Suzukawa, Akira Hebisawa, Akira Saito, Takahide Nagase. FOXL1 regulates lung fibroblast function via multiple mechanisms. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2020; 63(6): 831-842.

7) Yixuan J. Hou*, Kenichi Okuda*, Caitlin E.* Edwards, David R. Martinez*,Takanori Asakura, Kenneth H. Dinnon III, Takafumi Kato, Rhianna E. Lee, Boyd L. Yount, Teresa M. Mascenik, Gang Chen, Kenneth N. Olivier, Andrew Ghio, Longping V. Tse, Sarah R. Leist, Lisa E. Gralinski, Alexandra Schäfer, Hong Dang, Rodney Gilmore, Satoko Nakano, Ling Sun, M. Leslie Fulcher, Alessandra Livraghi-Butrico, Nathan I. Nicely, Mark Cameron, Cheryl Cameron, David J. Kelvin, Aravinda de Silva, David M. Margolis, Alena Markmann, Luther Bartelt, Ross Zumwalt, Fernando J. Martinez, Steven P. Salvatore, Alain Borczuk, Purushothama R.Tata, Vishwaraj Sontake, Adam Kimple, Ilona Jaspers, Wanda K. O’Neal, Scott H. Randell, Richard C. Boucher, Ralph S. Baric. SARS-CoV-2 genetics reveals a variable infection gradient in the respiratory tract. Cell 2020; 182(2): 429-446. *These authors contributed equally.

8) Wei Rao, Shan Wang, Marcin Duleba, Suchan Niroula, Kristina Goller, Jingzhong Xie, Rajasekaran Mahalingam, Rahul Neupane, Audrey-Ann Liew, Matthew Vincent, Kenichi Okuda, Wanda K. O’Neal, Richard C. Boucher, Burton F. Dickey, Michael E. Wechsler, Omar Ibrahim, John F. Engelhardt, Tinne C.J. Mertens, Wei Wang, Soma S.K. Jyothula, Christopher P. Crum, Harry Karmouty-Quintana, Kalpaj R. Parekh, Mark L. Metersky, Frank D. McKeon, Wa Xian. Regenerative metaplastic clones in COPD lung drive inflammation and fibrosis. Cell 2020; 181(4): 848-864.

9) Chen, G., Sun, L., Kato, T., Okuda, K., Martino, MB., Abzhanova, A., Lin, JM., Gilmore, RC., Batson, BD., O’Neal, VK., Volmer, AS., Dang, H., Deng, Y., Randell, SH., Button, Brian., Livraghi-Butrico, A., Kesimer, M., Ribeiro, CMP., O’Neal, WK. and Boucher, RC. IL-1β dominates the pro-mucin secretory cytokine profile in cystic fibrosis. J Clin Invest 2019; 129(10): 4433.

10) Chen, G., Ribeiro, CMP., Sun L., Okuda, K., Kato T, Gilmore, RC., Martino MB., Dang, H., Abzhanova A., Lin, JM., Hull-Ryde EA., Volmer AS., Randell SH., Livraghi-Butrico, A., Deng, Y., Scherer PE., Stripp BR., O’Neal, WK. and Boucher, RC. XBP1S Regulates MUC5B in a Promoter Variant-Dependent Pathway in IPF Airway Epithelia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2019; 200(2): 200.

11)  Ando, T., Kawashima, M., Masuda, K., Takeda, K., Okuda, K., Suzuki, J., Ohshima, N., Horibe, M., Tamura, A., Nagai, H., Matsui, H., Ohta, K. Exacerbation of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis was associated with a high rebleeding rate after bronchial artery embolization. Respir investig 2019; 57(3): 260.

12)  Okuda, K., Chen, G., Subramani, D.B., Wolf, M., Gilmore, R.C. Kato, T., Radicioni, G., Kesimer, M., Chua, M., Dang, H., Livraghi-Butrico, A., Ehre, C., Doerschuk, C.M., Randell, S. H., Matsui, H, Nagase, T., O’Neal, W.K. and Boucher, R.C. Localization of secretory mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B in normal/healthy human airways. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2019; 199(6): 715.

13)  Sato, C., Okuda, K., Tamiya, H., Yamamoto, K., Hoshina, K., Narumoto, O., Urushiyama, H., Noguchi, S., Amano, Y., Watanabe, K., Mitani, A., Kage, H., Tanaka, G., Yamauchi, Y., Takai, D., Nagase, T. Acute arterial thrombosis during postoperative adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy for completely resected lung adenocarcinoma. Intern Med 2018; 57(4): 557.

14)  Matsuki, R., Okuda, K., Mitani, A., Yamauchi, Y., Tanaka, G., Kume, H., Homma, Y., Hinata, M., Hayashi, A., Shibahara, J., Fukayama, M., Nagase, T. A case of delayed exacerbation of interstitial lung disease after discontinuation of temsirolimus. Respir Med Case Rep 2017; 22: 158.

15)  Ando, T., Kawashima, M., Masuda, K., Takeda, K., Okuda, K., Suzuki, J., Ohshima, N., Matsui, H., Tamura, A., Nagai, H., Akagawa, S., Ohta, K. Clinical and angiographic characteristics of 35 patients with cryptogenic hemoptysis. Chest 2017; 152: 1008.

16)  Kato, T., Kobayashi, K., Suzukawa, M., Saito, M., Okuda, K., Koyama, K., Igarashi, S., Arakawa, S., Ohshima, N., Matsui, H., Nagase, T., Ohta, K. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells up-regulates cytokine production upon LPS stimulation. Allergol Int 2017; 66S: S56.

17)  Okuda, K., Noguchi, S., Narumoto, O., Ikemura, M., Yamauchi, Y., Tanaka, G., Takai, D., Fukayama, M., Nagase, T. A case of Meigs’ syndrome with preceding pericardial effusion in advance of pleural effusion. BMC Pulm Med 2016; 16: 71.

18)   Okuda, K., Masuda, K., Kawashima, M., Ando, T., Koyama, K., Ohshima, N., Tamura, A., Nagai, H., Akagawa, S., Matsui, H., Ohta, K. Bronchial artery embolization to control hemoptysis in patients with Mycobacterium avium complex. Respir investig 2016; 54: 50-58.

19)  Koyama, K., Ohshima, N., Kawashima, M., Okuda, K., Sato, R., Nagai, H., Matsui, H., Ohta, K. Characteristics of pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex disease diagnosed later in follow-up after negative mycobacterial study including bronchoscopy. Respir Med 2015; 109: 1347-53.

20)  Koyama, K., Ohshima, N., Suzuki, J., Kawashima, M., Okuda, K., Sato, R., Suzukawa, M., Nagai, H., Matsui, H., Ohta, K. Evaluation of clinical characteristics and prognosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis depending on the underlying lung diseases: emphysema vs prior tuberculosis. J Infect Chemother 2015; 21: 795-801.

21) Okuda, K., Matsui, H., Suzuki, J., Ohshima, N., Masuda, K., Yamane, A., Tamura, A., Nagai, H., Akagawa, S., Ohta, K. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension complicated by a cavitating lung infection caused by Mycobacterium intracellulare. Intern Med 2014; 53: 1829-33.

Complete list of Dr. Okuda’s published work is available below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1fg8udpEgVZE1k/bibliography/56813145/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending

Kenichi Okuda