Munemasa Mori, MD, PhD

Overview

Millions of people worldwide suffer from incurable lung diseases, including COVID-19. Regenerative medicine can break through the treatment of patients who live with such limited options. To make it happen, I dedicate all of my effort to basic and translational research in CUMC. The ultimate goal of my research is to transform our research discovery towards effective treatments for patients suffering from these diseases. I have been trained by the lung development, regeneration, and stem cell research program to accomplish this goal. My work has contributed novel concepts in understanding the molecular mechanism controlling the balance of undifferentiated airway progenitors, disrupted in chronic pulmonary disease (Mori et al., Development, 2015).  We have also revealed an unsuspected role for the tumor-suppressor gene, E2f4, on the airway motile cilia replication (Mori et al., Nature Communications, 2015). Most recently, my efforts as a PI established a novel methodology for "entire lung generation" using conditional blastocyst complementation (CBC), a refinement of organ generation technology (Mori et al., Nature Medicine, 2019). I have been mentoring multiple postdocs and graduate students and genuinely enjoy teaching research scholars the next generation.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Administrative Titles

  • Principal Investigator, Mori Lab

Languages

  • Japanese

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Hamamatsu Medical University, Japan
  • MD, Hamamatsu Medical University, Japan
  • PhD, Medicine, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Regulation, Gunma University, Japan
  • Residency: Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan
  • Fellowship: Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia Center for Human Development

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Award (DoD) (PI: Mori)
  • 2019 Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program Expansion Award (DoD) (PI: Mori)
  • 2019 1R0HL148223-01 award (NHLBI) (PI: Mori)
  • 2017 W81XWH-17-1-0139 Department of Defense, Discovery award (PI: Mori)
  • 2015 Poster award, Development & Genetics Retreat, Columbia University Medical Center
  • 2011 Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
  • 2008 Goto Award for Excellent Research Activity, Gunma Univ. Graduate School of Medicine
  • 2007 The best scientist presentation award in the Department of Medicine and Molecular Science, Gunma University School of Medicine, Gunma, Japan
  • 2006 Board Certified by the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
  • 2003 Young Scientist‘s Global Center of Excellence Program Award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan

Research

Grants

1. 1R01HL148223-01 (PI: Mori) 07/15/2019 - 06/30/2023 $330,797 DC (Yr. 2)
NIH-NHLBI
Regulatory Mechanisms of Cell Competition in Lung Regeneration
The major goals of the proposal are to provide new knowledge in the area of stem cell research for the regulation of lung organ niches and stem cell competence through cell competition during lung development and to control donor PSCs for efficient lung generation using mouse analyses.
2. PR190557 (PI: Mori) 08/01/2020-07/31/2023 $166,535 DC (Yr. 1)
Department of Defense, Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program Expansion Award
Generating Humanized Lungs in Mice for Disease Modeling and Development of Personalized Medicine Therapies
This project focuses on the advancement of our CBC technology towards modeling humanized lung mice.
3. PR191133 (PI: Mori) 09/01/2020-08/31/2023 $399,990 DC (Yr. 1)
Department of Defense, Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Award
A Novel Bioengineering Approach for Generation of Functional Lungs in Swine
We are going to investigate swine lung development and establish the experimental basis of lung generation in swine based on our accomplishment of CBC-mediated lung generation.
4. SHARP CORPORATION AWARD, (PI: Mori) 06/01/21 – 05/31/22 $137,350 DC (Yr. 1)
Investigating the SHARP Plasma Cluster Ion (PCI)’s impact on human cells and disinfection efficacy against COVID-19 transmission. The major goals of the proposal are to elucidate the effectiveness of SARS-CoV2 disinfection by PCI technology.

Selected Publications

  • Mori1 M†, Furuhashi K, Danielsson AJ, Hirata Y, Yamamoto M, Lin SC, Ohta M, Riccio P, Takahashi Y, Xu X, Emala WC, Lu C, Nakauchi H†, Cardoso VW†. Generation of functional lungs via conditional blastocyst complementation using pluripotent stem cells, Nat Med. 2019, Nov;25(11):1691-1698. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0635-8. PMID: 31700187. †: corresponding author
  • Mori M, Hazan R, Danielian PS, Mahoney JE, Li H, Lu J, Miller ES, Zhu X, Lees JA, Cardoso WV. Cytoplasmic E2f4 forms organizing centres for initiation of centriole amplification during multiciliogenesis. Nature Commun. 2017 Jul 4;8:15857. PMID:28675157
  • Mori M, Mahoney JE, Stupnikov MR, Paez-Cortez JR, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X, Herrick DB, Schwob J, Zhang H, Cardoso WV.Notch3-Jagged signaling controls the pool of undifferentiated airway progenitors. Development. 2015 Jan 15;142(2):258-67. PMID:25564622
  • Mori M, and Cardoso WV. Lung Progenitor Cell Specification and Morphogenesis. Ed.: R. Harding, K. E. Pinkerton, The Lung: Development, Aging and the Environment, Elsevier Science, Oct 2014. Academic Press ISBN: 978-0-12-799941-8.