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Kansas State University



Masaaki Tamura


Masaaki Tamura

DVM, Kitasato University College of Veterinary Medicine, Japan, 1973
PhD, Veterinary Medicine (Biochemistry & Nutrition), Azabu Veterinary College, Japan, 1980

Associate Professor
Coles Hall 210
Phone: (785) 532-4825 

Research Interests:

Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases in the world and is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Despites significant effort to find cures for cancer, such as pancreatic, lung and ovarian, curative therapy still remain elusive. These three types of cancers contribute to more than 42% of overall cancer-related deaths.
The Tumor Physiology Laboratory directed by Dr. Masaaki Tamura, a member of The Johnson Cancer Research Center, aims to find cures for cancers by studying cell-targeted nanoparticle-based gene therapy, metastatic tumor-targeted stem cell therapy, and diet-based alternative medicine for cancer immune therapy/prevention. The core concept of Dr. Tamura’s research is to develop non-invasive host-friendly effective therapies. Dr. Tamura’s research laboratory discovered that umbilical cord Warton’s jelly (matrix) derived stem cells, first identified in the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, can migrate to cancer tissue specifically and kill various cancer cells including breast, lung and pancreatic cancers. His research team also discovered that selective peptide nanoparticles are an exceptionally good gene delivery tool in cancer animal models and this particle-dependent gene therapy markedly attenuated lung cancer growth in mice. Dr. Tamura’s lab is committed to contributing to the ongoing research for finding curative therapies to help in the fight against this difficult disease.
More information regarding Dr. Tamura’s research can be found by following the links below:


Selected Publications:

  • Basel, M., Balivada, S., Wang, H., Shrestha, T., Seo, G-M., Pyle, M., Abayaweera, G., Dani, R., Koper, O., Tamura, M., Chikan, V.,  Bossmann, S., Troyer, D.:  Cell-delivered magnetic nanoparticles caused hyperthermia-mediated increased survival in a murine pancreatic cancer model. Intnl J Nanomed, 7:297-306, 2012. PMID:22287840,  PMCID:PMC3265998
  • Kawabata, A., Baoum, A., Ohta, N., Jacquez, S., Berkland, C., and Tamura, M.: A novel cationic nanoparticle-based gene therapy with angiotensin II type 2 receptor significantly attenuates growth of lung adenocarcinoma grafts in immune competent mice. Cancer Res, 72:2057-67. 2012, Epub 2012 Mar 2. PMID:22389453
  • Kawabata, A., Doi, C., Matsuzuka, T., Doi, C., Seiler, G., Reischman, J., Pickel, L., Ayuzawa, R., Nguyen, T., and Tamura, M.: C1B domain peptide of protein kinase Cg significantly suppresses growth of human colon cancer cells in vitro and in an in vivo mouse xenograft model through induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Cancer Biol Ther. 13:880-889, 2012. PMID:22785210, PMCID:PMC3414411
  • Kawabata, A., Ohta, N., Seiler, G., Pyle, M., Ishiguro, S., Zhang, Y., Becker, K. G., and Tamura, M.: Naïve rat umbilical cord matrix stem cells significantly attenuates mammary tumor growth through modulation of an endogenous immune responses to the tumors. Cytotherapy, 15:586-597, 2013. PMID:23474329, PMCID:PMC3652627
  • Ohta, N., Kawabata, A., Uppalapati, D., Ishiguro, S., Troyer, D., and Tamura, M.: Cytotherapy for breast cancer by umbilical cord matrix stem cells. Stem Cell Therapeutics for Cancer, Editor: Khalid Shah, Wiley publisher, pp111-126, 2013 Print ISBN: 9781118282427, Online ISBN: 9781118660423
  • Magnani, F., Pappas, C.G., Crook, T., Magafa, V., Cordopatis, P., Ishiguro, S., Ohta, N., Selent, J., Bosnyak, S., Jones, E. S., Gerothanassis, I. P., Tamura, M, Widdop, R. E., Tzakos, A. G.: Electronic Tuning of GPCR Ligand Subtype Selectivity. Submitted to Chemical Science, 2014.
  • Ohta, N., Ishiguro, S., Kawabata, A., Uppalapati, L., Ball, J., Pyle, M., Troyer, D., De, S., Zhang, Y., Becker, K., and Tamura, M.: Human umbilical cord matrix mesenchymal stem cells suppress the growth of breast cancer by expression of tumor suppressor genes. Submitted to Stem Cells, 2014.
  • Ishiguro, S., Yoshimura, K., Takao, S., Kawabata, A., Wall, T., Tsunedomi, T., Oka, M., Inui, M., Pappas, C., Tzakos, A.G., and Tamura, M. , Involvement of an angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) signaling in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC): a novel AT2R agonist effectively attenuates growth of PDAC grafts in mice. Submitted to Mol Cancer Res, 2014.