Message from Prof. OSHITANI


The history of mankind is the battle against infectious diseases. In the past, most of the death was due to infectious diseases. Improvement in public health hygiene and development of anti-microbials and vaccines have made it possible to treat and prevent infectious diseases. Owing to those advances, people in 1960s and 1970s had an optimistic view that infectious disease was a disease of the past. However, in the 1980s, infectious disease emerged as a prominent issue again. One perfect example would be the global spread of the virus that caused SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The spread of this disease occurred from southern part of China to other parts of the world through airline passengers. After this outbreak, we also experienced newly emerging infectious diseases, such as the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus, the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak, and the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic. In this era of globalization, it is difficult to contain the infectious disease without international initiative. To date, infectious disease is still the leading cause of deaths among the under-five children and plays a significant role in adult illness. While the public health impact of the infectious diseases has decreased in Japan so far, it still has a significant impact globally.

Therefore, in our Department, we mainly focus on the evolution and pathogenesis of viral infectious diseases and their public health consequences. Basic principles of our activities are as followings:

  1. Research on controlling infectious diseases: Our research themes are relevant, not only in the basic science, but also in the field of infectious diseases response and preparedness.
  2. Field-based Studies: We believe in looking at an infectious disease from different perspectives for its better management. We are therefore conducting not only laboratory-based studies, but also field studies based in the community, public health centers, clinical set-ups, and even in the environment.
  3. Conducting researches in broader perspective: We are always open to conduct researches on any viral infectious diseases in different perspectives for better understanding on the evolution of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. We are therefore not always focused on our expertise to a particular infectious disease; we rather respond to a wide variety of infectious diseases depending on their public health importance.
  4. Research on global perspectives: We are conducting collaborating studies in Asia, Africa and South America. We also contribute to the emergency response and preparedness activities of the World Health Organization and other international organizations. In addition, we are also collaborating with domestic institutions and universities. We believe in the idea that the spread of infectious agents is not limited to any geographical boundaries, thus, there are no borders for conducting research on infectious diseases as well.

Our approach of doing research works are mainly based on two major perspectives: the laboratory-based researches and field-based researches. The laboratory based researches are mainly focused on the molecular evolution of viruses. The biological specimen that we used in our experiments, are usually collected from our field set-ups. The other field-based research group tackles the infectious disease from the public health perspective. We are capable of conducting studies on wide range of field in infectious diseases. I am looking forward to working with the researchers to contribute for controlling the infectious disease across the globe.

Hitoshi Oshitani, MD, PhD, MPH
Professor, Department of Virology
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Faculty members & Researchers

Professor Hitoshi OSHITANI, MD, PhD, MPH
Assoc. prof. Mayuko SAITO, MD, PhD, MPH
Senior asst. prof. Clyde DAPAT, PhD
Asst. prof. Taro KAMIGAKI, MD, PhD
Asst. prof. Mariko SAITO-OBATA, PhD
[International Exchange Office]
Asst. prof. Michiko OKAMOTO, PhD
Asst. prof. Takeaki IMAMURA, MD, PhD
Research fellow Yasuko SHINOZAKI, MD, PhD
Research fellow Nobuko SATO, PhD
Research fellow Hannah Karen LABAYO
Research fellow Emmanuel Kagning TSINDA
Research fellow Hiroki AKABA, MD
Research fellow Hirono OTOMARU, PhD


PhD student Akiko SAYAMA, MD
PhD student Adam MATEJOVIC, Pharm Dr.
PhD student Kazuki YAMAMOTO, MD
PhD student Fang CHEN
PhD student Yasuhiro SUYAMA, MD
PhD student Yongra KO, MD
PhD student Jose Luis Malaga GRANDA
MMed student Jinghang FU
MMed student Daisetsu FUJITA
MMed student Chuyao YU
MMed student Jie YANG


Akie SAKAGAMI, Kanako OTANI, Raihana Nadra ALKAFF, Lanqing ZENG, Fumihiko UENO, Hirono Otomaru, Bindongo Price Polycarpe Dembele, Kahori Ishimayama, Daiki KOBAYASHI, Tri Bayu PURNAMA, Sirjan BASTOLA, Raita TAMAKI, Yuki FURUSE, Yintu BAO, Kentaro TOHMA, Rungnapa MALASAO, Natthawan CHAIMONGKOL, Hang XU, Takafumi MANAKA, Dinda Nur LESTARI, Xiaofang LIU, Isolde C. DAPAT, Chandra Nath ROY, Irona KHANDAKER, Liling CHAW, Francois Marie Ngako KADJI, Sayaka KATO, Takashi OKADA, Yujiao YU, Hisato KOSAI, Satoshi MIMURA, Toshifumi IMAGAWA, Takashi ODAGIRI, Masao SEKINE, Tuti RAHMAWATI, Akira SUZUKI, Naoko FUJI, Ayumu OHNO, Tadatsugu IMAMURA, Leia Necitas Guillermo APOSTOL, SHODIANA, Hisao-lei LEE, Xiang HUO, Nao NUKIWA-SOUMA, Dai YAMAMOTO, Hisami FUTAKUCHI, Kageaki GOEBUCHI, Akiko HASHIMOTO, Masato KAWAMURA, Emmanuel MPOLYA, Kozue SHIMABUKURO, Yusuke SAYAMA, Isidore Koffi KOUADIO