Kohtaro Fujihashi, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: 205-934-1951
E-mail: kohtarof@uab.edu


Dr. Fujihashi studied pre-dental sciences and dentistry at Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, where he received his D.D.S.  He then came to UAB for post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology in the Department of Oral Biology, UAB School of Dentistry and the Department of Microbiology, UAB  School of Medicine.  He joined the faculty of the Department of Oral Biology in 1991.  Dr. Fujihashi also has studied mucosal immunology in the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases at Osaka University.  In addition to his UAB position, he is visiting Professor of Nihon University School of Dentistry  at Matsudo, Chiba, Japan.

Dr. Fujihashi’s research interests in mucosal immunology focus on the mechanisms by which cytokines and cells regulate mucosal immunity, inflammation, and tolerance.  Current projects address the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate immunity in the elderly, mucosal tolerance, gd, ab T cell and epithelial cell function in mucosal immunity, and abberrant inflammation in murine models of inflammatory bowel disease. Further, Dr. Fujihashi studies mucosal vaccine development for Category A agents such as anthrax and botulinum.

Selected Publications

  1. Fujihashi, K., Kawabata, S., Hiroi, T., Yamamoto, M., McGhee, J. R., Nishikawa, S. and Kiyono, H. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interleukin 7 (IL-7) reciprocally induce IL-7 and IL-2 receptors on gd T-cell receptor-positive intraepithelial lymphocytes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 93:3613-3618, 1996.
  2. Fujihashi, K., McGhee, J. R., Kweon, M-N., Cooper, M. D., Tonegawa, S., Takahashi, I. Hiroi, T. Mestecky, J. and Kiyono, H. gd T cell deficient mice have impaired mucosal IgA responses. J. Exp. Med.183:1929-1935, 1996.
  3. Dohi, T., Fujihashi K., Rennert, P.D., Iwatani, K., Kiyono, H. and McGhee, J. R. Hapten-induced colitis is associated with colonic patch hypertrophy and Th2-type responses. J. Exp. Med. 189:1169-1179, 1999.
  4. Koga, T., McGhee, J. R., Kato, H., Kato, R., Kiyono, H. and Fujihashi, K. Evidence for early aging in the mucosal immune system. J. Immunol. 165: 5352-5359, 2000.
  5. Fujihashi, K., Dohi, T., Rennert, P.D., Yamamoto, M., Koga, T., Kiyono, H. and McGhee, J.R.    Peyer’s patches are required for oral tolerance to proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98:3310-3315, 2001.
  6. Kato, H., Fujihashi, K., Kato, R., Yuki, Y. and McGhee, J.R. Oral tolerance revisited ; prior oral tolerization abrogates cholera toxin-induced mucosal IgA responses. J. Immunol. 166:3114-3121, 2001.
  7. Hagiwara, Y., McGhee, J. R., Fujihashi, K., Kobayashi, R., Yoshino, N., Kataoka, K., Etani, Y., Kweon, M.-N., Tamura, S., Kurata, T., Takeda, Y., Kiyono, H. and Fujihashi, K. Protective mucosal immunity in aging is associated with functional CD4 T cells in nasopharyngeal-associated lymphoreticular tissue. J. Immunol. 170: 1754-1762, 2003.
  8. Kataoka, K., McGhee, J. R., Kobayashi, R., Fujihashi, K., Shizukuishi, S. and Fujihashi, K. Nasal Flt3 ligand cDNA elicits CD11c+ CD8+ dendritic cells for enhanced mucosal immunity. J. Immunol. 172: 3612-3619, 2004.
  9. Yoshino, N., Lü, F. X.-S., Fujihashi, K., Hagiwara, Y., Kataoka, K., Lu, D., Hirst, L., Honda, M., van Ginkel, F. W., Takeda, Y., Miller, C. J., Kiyono, H. and  McGhee, J. R. A novel adjuvant for mucosal immunity to HIV-1 gp120 in non-human primates. J. Immunol. 173: 6850-6857, 2004.
  10. Kobayashi, R., Kohda, T., Kataoka, K., Ihara, H., Kozaki, S., Pascual, D.W., Staats, H.F., Kiyono, H., McGhee, J.R. and Fujihashi, K. A novel neurotoxoid vaccine prevents mucosal botulism. J. Immunol. 174:2190-2195, 2005.

Preventing, diagnosing, and caring for patients with digestive and liver-related conditions

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is spearheading the crusade to treat digestive and liver-related disease by promoting clinical education and research in all areas of the specialty. We enhance patient experiences by providing compassionate, competent, professional clinical care through expert physicians, well versed in treating severe and complex gastrointestinal and liver disorders.


Faculty, fellows and staff actively participate in developing new therapies associated with gastrointestinal disorders through comprehensive research facilities and programs within UAB.


The division’s fellowship programs deliver advanced training, superior knowledge and enhanced skills for gastroenterologists and hepatologists of the future.

Patient Care

GI & Hepatology sets the standard of patient care by developing compassionate, patient-centered, and clinically advanced physicians and staff.