Faculty

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Takeshi Saito, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medicine
HMR 801A Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 2260

Overview

My research interest has been centered on hepatitis C virus (HCV) virology, pathogenesis, and virus-host interaction including immune response. For the past 10 years during my PhD and Post-Doctoral training, I have investigated viral-host interactions that regulate HCV viral replication through the activation of intracellular innate immune response. In recent years, I have focused on understanding how host cell innate immune pathways sense HCV infection and initiate the host response which involves type I interferon and proinflammatory cytokine production to regulate hepatic immunity. After recent transition to an independent junior faculty position at the University of Southern California (USC), Keck School of Medicine, my laboratory continues to investigate virus-host interactions that regulates disease outcome and pathogenesis of HCV infection. I have extensive expertise and skills in virology, cell signaling, cytokine biology, and cell biology.

My role as a physician specializing in the care of viral hepatitis at an academic medical center offers the unique integration of basic science and clinical/translational science into the laboratory research program, allowing us to set our aim as "research for the better healthcare". My chief goal is to become an established physician scientist with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a lasting career dedicated to translating discoveries in molecular virology into clinical practice or development of novel therapies. USC is supported by two major centers for the study of liver diseases: 1) USC Research Center for Liver Diseases, and 2) Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis. These center directors serve as consultants for the research program and career development. In summary, I have substantial expertise and a track record in the field of innate immunology against viral infection and am efficiently establishing an independent research program in an environment well suited for the study of liver diseases.

Awards

ISICR: International Society for Interferon & Cytokine Research Milstein Young Investigator Award, 2008

Viral Hepatitis Research Foundation of Japan: Viral Hepatitis Research Foundation of Japan Research Fellowship, 2009

AASLD and American Liver Foundation: Liver Scholar Award, 2010-2012

Japan Society of Hepatology: 2010 Hepatology Research High Citation Award, 2010

Baxter Foundation: Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Faculty Fellow Award, 2011

International Meeting on Hepatitis C Virus & Related Viruses: Travel Scholarship for 18th International Meeting on Hepatitis C Virus & Related Viruses, 2011

ISHSR: Young Investigator Award International Symposium on Cells of the Hepatic Sinusoid, 2013

NIH (NIAAA): R21AA022751, 2014-2016

ISICR: International Society for Interferon & Cytokine Research Milstein Young Investigator Award, 2008

Viral Hepatitis Research Foundation of Japan : Viral Hepatitis Research Foundation of Japan Research Fellowship, 2009

AASLD and American Liver Foundation: Liver Scholar Award , 2010-2012

Baxter Foundation : Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Faculty Fellow Award, 2011

International Meeting on Hepatitis C Virus & Related Viruses: Travel Scholarship for 18th International Meeting on Hepatitis C Virus & Related Viruses, 2011

ISHSR: Young Investigator Award International Symposium on Cells of the Hepatic Sinusoid , 2013

American Federation For Medical Research: Western Region American Federation For Medical Research (WAFMR) Outstanding Investigator Award, 2016

NIH (NIDDK): R01DK101773 , 2015-2020

Publications

Bang BR, Elmasry S, Saito T. Organ system view of the hepatic innate immunity in HCV infection. J Med Virol. 2016 Dec; 88(12):2025-2037. View in: PubMed

Elmasry S, Wadhwa S, Bang BR, Cook L, Chopra S, Kanel G, Kim B, Harper T, Feng Z, Jerome KR, Kahn J, Saito T. Detection of Occult Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Patients Who Achieved a Sustained Virologic Response to Direct-acting Antiviral Agents for Recurrent Infection After Liver Transplantation. Gastroenterology. 2016 Nov 9. View in: PubMed

Zhu J, Khemichian S, Nghiem D, Zhang SR, Limurti J, Saito T, Fong TL. Comparison of Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Hispanic and Asian Chronic Hepatitis B Patients in Southern California. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Aug; 50(7):602-7. View in: PubMed

Cho NE, Bang BR, Gurung P, Li M, Clemens DL, Underhill TM, James LP, Chase JR, Saito T. Retinoid Regulation of Antiviral Innate Immunity in Hepatocytes. Hepatology. 2015 Dec 5. View in: PubMed

Minassian A, Zhang J, He S, Zhao J, Zandi E, Saito T, Liang C, Feng P. An Internally Translated MAVS Variant Exposes Its Amino-terminal TRAF-Binding Motifs to Deregulate Interferon Induction. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jul; 11(7):e1005060. View in: PubMed

Ooi EL, Chan ST, Cho NE, Wilkins C, Woodward J, Li M, Kikkawa U, Tellinghuisen T, Gale M, Saito T. Novel antiviral host factor, TNK1, regulates IFN signaling through serine phosphorylation of STAT1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 4; 111(5):1909-14. View in: PubMed

Nookala A, Saberi B, Ter-Oganesyan R, Kanel G, Duong P, Saito T. Isolated arterioportal fistula presenting with variceal hemorrhage. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 May 7; 19(17):2714-7. View in: PubMed

Lau DT, Negash A, Chen J, Crochet N, Sinha M, Zhang Y, Guedj J, Holder S, Saito T, Lemon SM, Luxon BA, Perelson AS, Gale M. Innate immune tolerance and the role of kupffer cells in differential responses to interferon therapy among patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. Gastroenterology. 2013 Feb; 144(2):402-413. e12. View in: PubMed

Malathi K, Saito T, Crochet N, Barton DJ, Gale M, Silverman RH. RNase L releases a small RNA from HCV RNA that refolds into a potent PAMP. RNA. 2010 Nov; 16(11):2108-19. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Owen DM, Jiang F, Marcotrigiano J, Gale M. Innate immunity induced by composition-dependent RIG-I recognition of hepatitis C virus RNA. Nature. 2008 Jul 24; 454(7203):523-7. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Gale M. Differential recognition of double-stranded RNA by RIG-I-like receptors in antiviral immunity. J Exp Med. 2008 Jul 7; 205(7):1523-7. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Gale M. Regulation of innate immunity against hepatitis C virus infection. Hepatol Res. 2008; 38(2):115-22. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Gale M. Principles of intracellular viral recognition. Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Feb; 19(1):17-23. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Hirai R, Loo YM, Owen D, Johnson CL, Sinha SC, Akira S, Fujita T, Gale M. Regulation of innate antiviral defenses through a shared repressor domain in RIG-I and LGP2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jan 9; 104(2):582-7. View in: PubMed

Loo YM, Owen DM, Li K, Erickson AK, Johnson CL, Fish PM, Carney DS, Wang T, Ishida H, Yoneyama M, Fujita T, Saito T, Lee WM, Hagedorn CH, Lau DT, Weinman SA, Lemon SM, Gale M. Viral and therapeutic control of IFN-beta promoter stimulator 1 during hepatitis C virus infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Apr 11; 103(15):6001-6. View in: PubMed

Morikawa K, Ito T, Nozawa H, Inokuchi M, Uchikoshi M, Saito T, Mitamura K, Imawari M. Translational enhancement of HCV RNA genotype 1b by 3'-untranslated and envelope 2 protein-coding sequences. Virology. 2006 Feb 20; 345(2):404-15. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Ito T, Ishiko H, Yonaha M, Morikawa K, Miyokawa A, Mitamura K. Sequence analysis of PePHD within HCV E2 region and correlation with resistance of interferon therapy in Japanese patients infected with HCV genotypes 2a and 2b. Am J Gastroenterol. 2003 Jun; 98(6):1377-83. View in: PubMed

Saito T, Tanaka S, Yoshida H, Imamura T, Ukegawa J, Seki T, Ikegami A, Yamamura F, Mikami T, Aoyagi Y, Niikawa J, Mitamura K. A case of autoimmune pancreatitis responding to steroid therapy. Evidence of histologic recovery. Pancreatology. 2002; 2(6):550-6. View in: PubMed

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