Hideyuki Okano received M.D. in Physiology from Keio University in 1983, and served as research associate in Keio University School of Medicine and in Osaka University Institute for Protein Research. After he obtained a Ph.D. degree from Keio University in 1988, he held a post doctoral position at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Dr. Okano was appointed full professor at Tsukuba University School of Medicine in 1994, Osaka University School of Medicine in 1997, and returned to Keio University Medical School in 2001 as a full professor of Physiology. Since 2007, he has been a Dean of Keio University Graduate School of Medicine.
Hideyuki Okano has been conducting basic research in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine including, adult neurogenesis (reviewed in Okano and Sawamoto, Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci., 2008), neural stem cells (Naka et al., Nature Neurosci, 2008; Kaneda et al. In Press), neural crest stem cells and their related cells (Tomita et al., J. Cell Biol., 2005; Yoshida et al., Stem Cells, 2006; Nagoshi et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2008; Mabuchi et al., Stem Cell Reports, 2013), iPS cells (Miura et al., Nature Biotech, 2009; Okano et al. Circulation Research, 2013), and RNA binding proteins including Musashi (Okabe et al., Nature, 2001; Kawahara et al., J Cell Biol., 2008; Kuwako et al., Neuron, 2010) and regeneration of sensory systems (Mizutari et al., Neuron, 2013). He is also deeply involved in translational research in the cell therapy for injured spinal cord using somatic neural stem cells, iPS cells (Miura et al., Nature Biotech, 2009; Tsuji et al., PNAS 2010; Nori et al., PNAS 2011; Nakamura and Okano, Cell Research, 2013) and other therapeutic interventions (Okada et al., Nature Medicine, 2006; Kaneko et al., Nature Medicine, 2006; Takeuchi et al., Nat Commun, 2013). His group first achieved functional recovery of spinal cord injury model animals including non-human primates by the transplantation of iPS-derived neural stem cells. Furthermore, his group succeeded to generate transgenic non-human primates with germline transmission using common marmoset (Sasaki et al., Nature, 2009). The transgenic technique his group developed may provide the means to obtain genetically modified non-human primate models for translational research, investigations of regenerative medicine and gene therapy, and clarification of the scientific gaps among transgenic mice, human disease models, and real human diseases. Dr. Okano aims to establish and provide genetically modified non-human primate models for neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. Based on these achievements, he has been awarded numerous awards and honors including the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 2009. He is currently acting as an Associate Editor of the ISSCR official journal, Stem Cell Reports, and a member of editorial boards of eLife, Stem Cells and Cell Stem Cell.