Cedars Sinai Medical Center
United States of America
The expertise of Ekihiro Seki, MD, PhD, lies in immunology, and in clinical and research gastroenterology and hepatology. The research group in his laboratory has expertise in using genetically modified animals and isolating primary cultured liver cells including hepatocytes, Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells. Seki received his residency and subsequent clinical training in GI-hepatobiliary surgery. After clinical training, he began his research career in a doctorate program in immunology. During his PhD program, Seki studied toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 signaling-mediated inflammasome activation, including the activation of caspase-1, IL-1β, and IL-18 in Kupffer cells and in listeria infection, as well as TLR/myeloid differentiation 88 signaling in liver regeneration. In his postdoctoral training at Columbia University, he studied the role of TLR4 signaling in hepatic stellate cell activation and liver fibrosis. After his recruitment to the University of California, San Diego, Seki began independent research and extended his research field to the study of TLR2, 4 and 9 signaling and hepatocyte transforming growth factor-β signaling in alcoholic and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Recently, his group found that TAK1, an intracellular protein kinase, is a crucial molecule in preventing spontaneous hepatocyte death, liver inflammation, fibrosis and hepatocarcinogenesis. In addition, the follow-up study showed that hepatic TAK1 regulates autophagy in the development of fatty liver and liver cancer.
gastroenterology and hepatology