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Suzuki Lab


Ken Suzuki, MD, PhD is a clinical academic in the field of cardiac surgery trained in both Japan and UK.


Suzuki’s research primarily aims to develop new therapies to mend broken heart. As heart failure remains a leading cause of death and disability, his research is extremely important in science, clinics, economy and society. Currently his major interest is how to use stem cells for the treatment of heart failure patients.


Suzuki’s multidisciplinary team intends to choose the most effective stem cell type and develop the most efficient delivery method to the heart with the ultimate aim of successful establishment of stem cell therapy as a standard treatment. Multiple innovative approaches developed from his study are about to be used for the patient treatment.

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Prof. Ken Suzuki

Group Leader & Deputy Head of the CMR

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I graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Oita University, Japan in 2009. I worked as a surgeon in the cardiovascular surgery for about 10 years. I completed my PhD at Kyushu University, Japan in 2019.

I am currently exploring efficient and clinical-oriented cell therapy for heart failure. Outside work, I enjoy playing tennis and watching movies.



PhD in Life Sciences (2014), Tokyo institute of technology.

Field of research interest: Understanding the role of resident macrophages and its functional regulation after tissue injury.

MD, PhD (medicine). Specialise in cardiovascular surgery.


Field of research interest: Development and clinical translation of innovative stem cell-delivery methods.

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I worked in a pharmaceutical company for 15 years. 

Currently I am working in the study about how mesenchymal stem cell acts in the hearth disease therapy in UK. 

Outside the lab I like arts and architecture.I enjoy visiting museums and other beautiful places.

Dr Shoji Morishige

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Tomoya Ito

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Kazuya Kobayashi

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Takashi Ohtsuki

Postdoctoral Researcher

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I have a BSC and MsC in Biochemistry (Ugent,Belgium), MRes in Cardiac and Vascular medicine (QMUL)


Improving stem cell therapy for ischaemic heart failure

Laura Deelen

PhD Student


Physician Surgeon (UNAM, Mexico); MSc. Regenerative Medicine (QMUL, London) 

Current research:

Exosomes and biomaterials for heart failure. Other interests: Immunology, 3D printing, patient specific implants & biofabrication.

Dr Esteban Ortega

PhD Student

Emrah Ozcan

PhD Student


Reparative macrophage transplantation for myocardial repair: a refinement of bone marrow mononuclear cell-based therapy.

Basic Research in Cardiology, 2019 (114)

Podaru MN, Fields L, Kainuma S, Ichihara Y, Hussain M, Ito T, Kobayashi K, Mathur A, D'Acquisto F, Lewis-McDougall F and Suzuki K

On-site fabrication of Bi-layered adhesive mesenchymal stromal cell-dressings for the treatment of heart failure.

Biomaterials, 2019 (209; 41-53)

Kobayashi K, Ichihara Y, Sato N, Umeda N, Fields L, Fukumitsu M, Tago Y, Ito T, Kainuma S, Podaru M, Lewis-McDougall F, Yamahara K, Uppal R and Suzuki K

Self-assembling peptide hydrogel enables instant epicardial coating of the heart with mesenchymal stromal cells for the treatment of heart failure.

Biomaterials, 2018 (154; 12-23)

Ichihara Y, Kaneko M, Yamahara K, Koulouroudias M, Sato N, Uppal R, Yamazaki K, Saito S and Suzuki K

Fibrin Glue-aided, Instant Epicardial Placement Enhances the Efficacy of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Based Therapy for Heart Failure.

Scientific Reports, 2018 (8)

Kobayashi K, Ichihara Y, Tano N, Fields L, Murugesu N, Ito T, Ikebe C, Lewis F, Yashiro K, Shintani Y, Uppal R and Suzuki K

IL-4 as a Repurposed Biological Drug for Myocardial Infarction through Augmentation of Reparative Cardiac Macrophages: Proof-of-Concept Data in Mice.

Scientific Reports, 2017 (7)

Shintani Y, Ito T, Fields L, Shiraishi M, Ichihara Y, Sato N, Podaru M, Kainuma S, Tanaka H and Suzuki K

GFRA2 Identifies Cardiac Progenitors and Mediates Cardiomyocyte Differentiation in a RET-Independent Signaling Pathway.

Cell Reports, 2016 (16; 1026-1038)

Ishida H, Saba R, Kokkinopoulos I, Hashimoto M, Yamaguchi O, Nowotschin S, Shiraishi M, Ruchaya P, Miller D, Harmer S, Poliandri A, Kogaki S, Sakata Y, Dunkel L, Tinker A, Hadjantonakis AK, Sawa Y, Sasaki H, Ozono K, Suzuki K and Yashiro K

Alternatively activated macrophages determine repair of the infarcted adult murine heart.

The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016 (126; 2151-66)

Shiraishi M, Shintani Y, Shintani Y, Ishida H, Saba R, Yamaguchi A, Adachi H, Yashiro K and Suzuki K

Toll-like receptor 9 protects non-immune cells from stress by modulating mitochondrial ATP synthesis through the inhibition of SERCA2.

EMBO Reports, 2014 (15; 438-45)

Shintani Y, Drexler HC, Kioka H, Terracciano CM, Coppen SR, Imamura H, Akao M, Nakai J, Wheeler AP, Higo S, Nakayama H, Takashima S, Yashiro K and Suzuki K

Epicardial placement of mesenchymal stromal cell-sheets for the treatment of ischemic cardiomyopathy; in vivo proof-of-concept study.

Molecular Therapy, 2014 (22; 1864-71)

Tano N, Narita T, Kaneko M, Ikebe C, Coppen SR, Campbell NG, Shiraishi M, Shintani Y and Suzuki K

TLR9 mediates cellular protection by modulating energy metabolism in cardiomyocytes and neurons.

PNAS, 2013 (110; 5109-14)

Shintani Y, Kapoor A, Kaneko M, Smolenski RT, D'Acquisto F, Coppen SR, Harada-Shoji N, Lee HJ, Thiemermann C, Takashima S, Yashiro K and Suzuki K

If you cannot access any of our papers, please do contact us, we would be happy to share a copy.



Pluripotent stem cell therapy for myocardial regeneration

Funded by The British Heart Foundation and others.

Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are more promising to achieve myocardial regeneration (generation of new cardiomyocytes), compared to adult stem cells. However, these pluripotent cells remain associated with critical issues to initiate clinical application, including mass production of high-quality cells and regulation of cardiomyogenic differentiation (i.e. avoidance of tumour formation). In addition, insufficient maturation and inappropriate integration of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes as well as suboptimal cell-delivery method into the heart have to be overcome. With firm determination to progress this approach toward clinical application, we currently conduct basics/translational research of these cells.


Alternatively activated macrophages for the treatment of heart failure and other diseases

Funded by The British Heart Foundation, Heart Research UK and others

Immunity and inflammation play a vital role in development of and recovery from heart failure. Suzuki’s group has investigated the role of high-mobility group protein 1(HMGB-1), toll like receptors (TLRs) as well as cardiac alternatively-activated (M2) macrophages in heart failure. In addition to elucidating their basic molecular/cellular biological aspects, we challenge to apply these data for development of innovative therapies of heart failure and other diseases including post-operative adhesions.


Translational study of adult stem cell therapy for myocardial repair

Funded by The British Heart Foundation, Heart Research UK and others.

Adult stem/progenitor cells are able to improve cardiac performance and structure by repairing the damaged myocardium primarily through secretion of reparative factors (paracrine effects). Suzuki’s 20-year research suggested that allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells are the most promising cell type for this approach to be a clinically successful at the moment. His research has also identified the issues associated with the current cell-delivery methods (i.e. intramyocardial and intracoronary injection), including poor donor cell engraftment and risks of complications such as arrhythmia occurrence and coronary embolism.

To solve these limitations, he has developed a safer and more effective cell-delivery approach, “epicardial placement” by using biocompatible materials/tissue engineering. In collaboration with companies, several methods are shortly entering to a clinical trial.



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