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Nakamura Laboratory

Our lab is studying innate immunity of the lung, focusing on anti-viral effects of minor pulmonary surfactant phospholipids, palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglcyerol (POPG) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) as anti-inflammatory and antiviral compounds against multiple respiratory viruses (e.g., Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Influenza A, Human Rhinoviruses (HRVs) and SARS-CoV-2) using primary human airway epithelial cells and immune cells. Our missions in the research are to develop these lipids as anti-inflammatory and antivirals to treat patients who are suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Interstitial lung diseases (ILD).

I have extensive research training and have practiced medicine as a pulmonary physician as a chief physician at Kanagawa Cardiovascular and Respiratory Center, which is one of the top respiratory hospitals in Japan, and well-known as a leading institute for global clinical trials in interstitial lung diseases and lung cancer.  I have also served as the Head of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Omori Red Cross Hospital, and Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital, Tokyo in Japan.

My knowledge and experiences in clinical practice as a physician-scientist, are very useful to improve understanding of the pathophysiology of respiratory diseases, focus my research plans and shape my future goal for clinical trials with POPG and PI applied to humans.

Current Projects

  • Innate Immunity and Viral Infections in Asthma
  • Pulmonary Surfactant Antagonists of Rhinovirus Infection and Inflammation
  • Pulmonary surfactant phospholipids inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in chronic lung diseases.
  • Effect of pulmonary surfactant phospholipids on human rhinovirus-C infection in human distal lung
Mari Numata-Nakamura

Mari Numata-Nakamura, MD, PhD


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  • Numata M, Chu HW, Dakhama A, Voelker DR. Pulmonary surfactant phosphatidylglycerol inhibits respiratory syncytial virus-induced inflammation and infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 5;107(1):320-5. PubMed PMID: 20080799; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2806703.
  • Numata M, Kandasamy P, Voelker DR. The anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of anionic pulmonary surfactant phospholipids. Immunol Rev. 2023 May 5. doi: 10.1111/imr.13207. PMID:37144896

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