Dr. Ichiro NakanoProfessor
Co-Leader of Neuro-Oncology Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Areas of Interest
brain tumors, glioma, glioblastoma, metastaticbrain tumors, meningioma

Physician Profile
PubMed
Neuro-Oncology Program
Lab Website
CV

Dr. Nakano specializes in surgical treatment for brain tumors including glioma, glioblastoma, astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, metastatic brain tumor, meningioma, and others. He has completed neurosurgical residency in Kyoto University in Japan, followed by two surgical neuro-oncology fellowships in UCLA and the Ohio State University. Dr. Nakano leads a research program to develop new clinical trials for brain cancer. His recent studies have identified new molecular targets in brain cancer and have developed new treatment strategies for pre-clinical models for brain cancer. These strategies are under investigation for development of novel clinical trials for brain cancer. For more details, call to his office at 205-996-2098.

By training, Dr. Nakano is an academic neurosurgeon conducting both brain tumor translational research and clinical brain tumor surgery. As a physician, he primarily treats patients with brain tumors. As a scientist, his focus is on the molecular characterization of brain cancer heterogeneity and plasticity and translate that knowledge to cancer therapeutics. Dr. Nakano’s research is highlighted with the discovery of brain cancer stem cells, published in PNAS in 2003, and the discovery of glioblastoma subtype-specific cancer stem cells, published in PNAS, Cancer Cell in 2013, and Cancer Cell in 2016. As of July 2017, He has published more than 105 peer-reviewed research and review articles. He currently holds 7 NIH grants as a PI (6 R01s and 1 R21). All of these projects aim to study various molecular mechanisms that drive brain cancer aggressiveness, heterogeneity, therapy resistance and development.

In October 2015, Dr. Nakano was recruited to the UAB Department of Neurosurgery. Since he joined UAB, he has thoroughly integrated himself into the UAB brain tumor program. He serves as a co-Leader in the Neuro-Oncology Program in UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Under this mechanism, his aim is to be among the national and international leaders in therapeutic development for brain cancers. His research projects are extensively supported by many collaborations and he has assembled neuro-oncology scientists and physicians covering various and broad expertise into the team. They share the mission to identify novel and effective therapies for malignant brain tumors as a result of collaborative work.

Dr. Nakano’s long-term goal is to make visible impact on prognosis of cancer patients by developing innovative and effective therapies. He continues to devote himself towards improving the outcomes of patients by developing effective therapies for this devastating disease in collaboration with basic scientists, oncologists, pathologists, and neurosurgeons.

His research projects including this proposal are extensively supported by many of his collaborators. His extensive collaborative team approach with different neuro-oncology scientists and physicians is evident by the list of his recent publications in the top notch journals including Cancer Cell (2013), Nature Neuroscience (2013), Annals of Neurology (2013), Stem Cells (2013 and 2013), Stem Cell Reports (2015 and 2015) and Cell Reports (2013). Dr. Nakano's team shares the mission to identify novel and effective therapies for the devastating malignant brain tumors as a result of our joint work.

His long-term goal is to make a visible impact on the prognosis of cancer patients by developing novel and innovative therapies. Because of their highly aggressive and invasive nature, the vast majority of malignant tumors elude effective treatment. Dr. Nakano continues to devote himself towards improving the outcomes of patients by developing effective therapies for this devastating disease in collaboration with his collaborators including basic scientists, oncologists, pathologists, and surgeons.

Education

Residency
Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
Neurosurgery

Graduate School
Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
Neuroscience and Neuro-oncology

Fellowships
Ohio State University
Surgical Neuro-Oncology, 2009-2012
University of California, Los Angeles, California
Surgical Neuro-Oncology, 2006-2009
University of California, Los Angeles, California
Brain Cancer Stem Cell, 2002-2005

Contact

Office Location
WTI 410F

Email
ichiro@uab.edu

Phone
(205) 996-2098


1993-2002 Resident, Department of Neurosurgery, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine
1997-2001, 2003-2008 Graduate student, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine
2003-2005 Research fellow, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA
2006-2009 Clinical Instructor, Division of Neurosurgery, Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics, UCLA
2009-2015 Associate Professor (non-tenure), Department of Neurosurgery, The Ohio State University
2009-2015 Director, Neural Cancer Stem Cell Program, The Ohio State University Medical Center
2009-2015 Faculty, OSU Graduate Program in Neurosciences Graduate Studies 2015-2015 Professor (tenured), Department of Neurosurgery, The Ohio State University

2003 The Jules Spivak Memorial Scholarship Award
2004 Fine Science Tools Postdoctoral Award from Brain Research Institute at UCLA
2006 Journal of Neuro-Oncology Award in the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Neurological Surgery, San Francisco
2007 Distinguished Speaker Award. Hamamatsu University School of Medicine
2007 Joint Symposium Chair, “Brain tumors and Stem Cells”. UCLA Neurosurgery / Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine
2008 American Brain Tumor Association Young Investigator Award in the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Neurological Surgery, Chicago
2009 Young Investigator Award, National Brain Tumor Society in the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Neurological Surgery, New Orleans
2010 Visiting Professorship, Xi’an Jeontong University, Department of Neurosurgery, CHINA
2012 Innovation Award, American Brain Tumor Association
2012 Chair, Brain Tumor Stem Cell Session, The Annual Meeting for the Society for Neuro-oncology
2012 Selection for Abstract Reviewer Panel, Society for Neuro-oncology
2013 Selection for Abstract Reviewer Panel, Society for Neuro-oncology
2013 Visiting Professorship, Osaka Medical College, Department of Neurosurgery, JAPAN
2013 International member in Review panel for the Medical Research Council, UK
2014 Selection for ad hoc member in the NIH Study Section of Basic Mechanism of Cancer Therapeutics
2014 Selection for Grant Reviewer Panel, American Brain Tumor Association
2014 Selection for Grant Reviewer Panel, American Cancer Society
2014 Selection for International Grant Reviewer Panel, World Cancer Research Fund International, UK
2015 Selection for ad hoc member in the NIH Study Section of National Cancer Institute Initial Review Group; Transition to Independence (K01, K08, K25)
2015 Selection for ad hoc member in the NIH Study Section of ZCA1 SRB-V (M1) S, R03 & R21 ZCA1 SRB-V
2015 Selection for ad hoc member in the NIH Study Section of 2015/10 ZCA1 RPRB-O (O1) P meeting (PPG)
2015 Visiting Professorship, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama, Birmingham
2015 Visiting Professorship, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada
2017 Selection for member in American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Editorial Boards/Journal Reviewer

Editorial Boards: PLoS One, Advances in Neuroscience, American Journal of Stem Cells (Senior Editor), Behavioral Neurology, Journal of Stem Cell Research and Transplantation, Journal of Stem Cells Research, Development and Therapy (Eminent Editor), Imaging Journal of Clinical and Medical Sciences, Aperito Journal of Surgery and Anesthesia, Free Radical Research, Cancer Science, Stem Cell and Translational Investigation.

Reviewer: Journal of Neuroscience Research, Medical Science Monitor, Neurobiology of Disease, Pediatric Research, Expert Review of Anti-Cancer Therapy, Journal of Neuro-oncology, Future Neurology, Cancer Science, Journal of Biochemistry, Neuron, Experimental Neurology, Surgical Neurology, Cancer Cells, Journal of Neurosurgery, Oncogene, Journal of Neuroscience, PLoS ONE, Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis, Stem Cells, Clinical Cancer Research, Stem Cell Research, American Journal of Pathology, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, Stem Cells Translational Research, Neurosurgery, Journal of Molecular Medicine, Cancer Letters, Cell Proliferation, Medical Principles and Practice, Neuro-oncology, PNAS, Neurosurgery, Cancer Research, Science Translational Medicine, Cancer Research, Oncotarget


Ongoing Research Support

4/1/2013-3/31/2018

1. P01 CA163205-01A1 (overall P.I.: Chiocca, EA)(Role: P.I. for Glioma Biorepository Core) Circumventing Barriers to Effective Oncolytic Virotherapy of Malignant Gliomas.

  • The overall goal of this Program Project Grant is to elucidate the fundamental barrier and host responses that negatively impact the efficacy of oncolytic viruses to develop more effective therapy for glioblastoma therapy. My role as Core Director is to establish patient-derived glioma stem cell cultures to each project.

7/1/2013-6/30/2018

2. R01 NS083767-01 (Role: contact P.I., co-P.I.: Lee, J) Targeting MELK-mediated EZH2 signaling in Glioma Stem Cells.

  • The goals of this proposal are to determine the molecular mechanisms of the newly identified MELK/EZH2/STAT3 pathway in GBM cells and examine whether targeting this pathway would be a safe and efficient therapeutic strategy for GBM.

7/1/2013-6/30/2018

3. R01 NS (P.I.: Lathia, J), Role: co- Investigator. Novel adhesion mechanisms in glioblastoma stem cells.

  • This proposal tests the hypothesis that a novel GBM cell regulator of niche communication that interacts with integrins, junctional adhesion molecule-A. My role is to provide our patient-derived glioma sphere cultures to characterized cell surface proteins with transcriptome microarray and in vivo tumor assays.

1/1/2014-12/30/2015

4. R21 CA175875-01A1 (Role: contact P.I., co-P.I.: Penalva, L) Determination of Musashi1/CD44v6 signaling in mesenchymal glioma stem cells.

  • This proposal seeks to determine the molecular mechanisms that regulate the growth and therapy resistance of mesenchymal (MES) glioma stem cells (GSCs)―a more aggressive subtype―by examining a novel Musashi 1 (Msi1)-CD44v6 pathway in this context.

4/15/2014-2/28/2019

5. R01 NS087913-01 (Role: co-P.I., Rich JN as contact P.I.) Metabolism Informs Intertumoral & Intratumoral Heterogeneity.

  • This proposal tests the hypothesis that the Warburg effect is a major driver of malignant progression in glioma and acts as a selective pressure for cellular heterogeneity and clonal evolution in this disease.

2/1/2015-1/31/2020

6. R01CA183991-01A1 (Role: P.I.) Novel role of compensatory proliferation in human brain tumor.

  • This proposal hypothesizes that cellular damage by radiation induces non-stem cells in cancers to undergo apoptosis, while paradoxically facilitating survival of cancer stem cells in a JNK-dependent mechanism.

2/1/2015-1/31/2017

7. R21CA192042-01 (P.I.: Verbridge, S), Role: co-Investigator. Targeting electric field therapy for malignant infiltrative glioma.

  • This proposal hypothesizes that a high frequency targeted electric field (TEF) version of irreversible electroporation (IRE) will surpass traditional approaches in the treatment of GBM, and will enable tumor cell-specific treatment penetration beyond the typical resection or bulk tumor border.

Pending; Priority score: 19; Percentile: 5.0

8. R01CA201402 (Role: co-P.I., Cerione RA as contact P.I.) The roles of a unique GTP-binding protein/crosslinking enzyme in disease.

  • In this proposal, we seek to establish the mechanisms by which TGase-2 contributes to disease states. We test the hypothesis that TGase-2 plays novel roles in the actions of the oncogenic EGFRvIII and other receptors implicated in GBM, mediated by microvesicles produced from glioma stem cells.

Pending; Priority score: 16; Percentile: 4.0

9. R01 (P.I.: Cheng SY), Role: co-Investigator. Glioblastoma Subtype Interconversion Through miRNA Control of Wnt Signaling.

  • No overlap of these grants with the current proposal.

Completed Research Support (past 5 years)

9/1/09-8/31/11

1. R21 CA135013-01A1 (Role: P.I.) Characterization of CD44 in brain tumor stem cells.

09/01/2010-08/31/2011

2. National Brain Tumor Society (Role: P.I.) Disrupting G-quadruplex DNA structure in brain tumor stem cells.

7/1/2012-12/31/2013

3. American Brain Tumor Association (Role: P.I.) CD44v as a target in therapy-resistant mesenchymal glioblastoma.

11/1/2008-6/30/2014

4. American Cancer Society (Role: P.I.) Mentored Research Scholar Grant in Applied and Clinical Research.