Kazuhiko Yamada, MD, PhD

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Dr. Kazuhiko Yamada joined the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI) and is appointed to Professor of Surgical Science in Surgery and Director, Surgical Research, CCTI as of July 1, 2015. After he qualified as a Board-certified urologist in Japan, he joined the Transplantation Biology Research Center (TBRC), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as a research fellow in 1993. He was promoted to an Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1998, to Assistant Professor of Surgery in 2000 and to Associate Professor of Surgery in 2004 at HMS and was appointed to Director, Surgical Research, TBRC, MGH. He has conducted both allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantation projects as a Head of Organ Transplantation Tolerance and Xenotransplantation Lab, TBRC, MGH, served as a Councilor of IXA and as an editorial board member of several major journals in the field of transplantation, and he has hosted four transplant congresses. His research was introduced in Nature Med (http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v18/n1/box/nm0112-12_BX1.html, 2012), Nature Review (2013), JASN (2014), Harvard Med Focus and a in book “Xeno Chronicles” (2005. G. Wayne Miller). He has published over 160 original articles and eleven of his fellows received 12 congress awards, including a Mentor/Mentee award from the Transplantation Society. His laboratory and office are located on Black building 17th floor in CCTI and his email address is ky2323@columbia.edu.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Surgical Sciences (in Surgery)

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Surgical Research, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology




A. Federal

1. U01: Composite porcine islet-kidney xenotransplants to cure diabetes and renal failure

Role: PI


2. RO1:  Intestinal allograft tolerance in large animals

Role: PI


3. P01 AI045897 A Tolerance Approach to Xenotransplantation; Proj 1:  Achieving Xenograft Tolerance through Thymic Programming in Primates  (Federal)

Role: PL


4. U19:  

Regulatory T cells to promote mixed chimerism for tolerance to islets and kidneys from deceased and living donors; Proj 2: Preclinical Studies of Living Donor Islet-Kidney Allograft Tolerance

Role: PL

5. RO1: siRNA Protection of Islet Grafts in Baboons

Role: PI


6. RO1: siRNA Protection of Composite Islet Kidney Transplant in Baboons

Role: PI


7. DoD/USAMRAA: Novel methods for human skeletal muscle regeneration using gene edited pigs

Role: Co-Investigator (Project 4)


8. DoD/USAMRAA: A Novel Bioengineering Approach for Generation of Functional Lungs in Swine

Role: Co-Investigator


B. Sponsored Research Agreement


1. Induction of tolerance of heart grafts in non-human primates                               


Role: PI

2. Nephro Health                                                      

Role: Co-Investigator

Selected Publications

• * Yamada as a corresponding author
1: Tasaki M, Wamala I, Tena A, Villani V, Sekijima M, Pathiraja V, Wilkinson RA, Pratts S, Cormack T, Clayman E, Arn JS, Shimizu A, Fishman JA, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. High incidence of xenogenic bone marrow engraftment in pig-to-baboon intra-bone bone marrow transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2015 Apr;15(4):974-83. PMC4407988.
2: Yamada K*, Tasaki M, Sekijima M, Wilkinson RA, Villani V, Moran SG, Cormack TA, Hanekamp IM, Hawley RJ, Arn JS, Fishman JA, Shimizu A, Sachs DH. Porcinecytomegalovirus infection is associated with early rejection of kidney grafts in a pig to baboon xenotransplantation model. Transplantation. 2014 Aug 27;98(4):411-8. PMC4176773.
3: Scalea JR, Okumi M, Villani V, Shimizu A, Nishimura H, Gillon BC, Torabi R, Cormack T, Moran S, LeGuern C, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Abrogation of renal allograft tolerance in MGH miniature swine: the role of intra-graft and peripheral factors in long-term tolerance. Am J Transplant. 2014 Sep;14(9):2001-10. PMC4194165.
4: Tasaki M, Shimizu A, Hanekamp I, Torabi R, Villani V, Yamada K*. Rituximab treatment prevents the early development of proteinuria following pig-to-baboon xeno-kidney transplantation. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 Apr;25(4):737-44. PMCID: PMC3968493.
5: Cetrulo CL Jr, Torabi R, Scalea JR, Shimizu A, Leto Barone AA, Gillon BC, Tasaki M, Leonard DA, Cormack TA, Villani V, Randolph MA, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Vascularized composite allograft transplant survival in miniature swine: is MHC tolerance sufficient for acceptance of epidermis? Transplantation. 2013 Dec 15;96(11):966-74. PMCID: PMC3902136.
6: Okumi M, Scalea JR, Gillon BC, Tasaki M, Villani V, Cormack T, Hirakata A, Shimizu A, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. The induction of tolerance of renal allografts by adoptive transfer in miniature swine. Am J Transplant. 2013 May;13(5):1193-202. PMCID: PMC3671754.
7: Yamada K*, Scalea J. Thymic transplantation in pig-to-nonhuman primates for the induction of tolerance across xenogeneic barriers. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;885:191-212. PMID: 22565997.
8: Yamada K*, Hirakata A, Tchipashvili V, Shimizu A, Iwaki H, Griesemer A, Vallabhajosyula P, Moran S, Sachs DH. Composite islet-kidneys from single baboon donors cure diabetes across fully allogenic barriers. Am J Transplant. 2011 Dec;11(12):2603-12. PMCID: PMC3226882.
9: Nishimura H, Scalea J, Wang Z, Shimizu A, Moran S, Gillon B, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. First experience with the use of a recombinant CD3 immunotoxin as induction therapy in pig-to- primate xenotransplantation: the effect of T-cell depletion on outcome. Transplantation. 2011 Sep 27;92(6):641-7. PMCID: PMC3255322.
10: Sahara H, Shimizu A, Setoyama K, Okumi M, Oku M, Samelson-Jones E, Yamada K*. Carbon monoxide reduces pulmonary ischemia-reperfusion injury in miniature swine. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Jun;139(6):1594-601. PMID: 19909986.
11: Griesemer AD, Hirakata A, Shimizu A, Moran S, Tena A, Iwaki H, Ishikawa Y, Schule P, Arn JS, Robson SC, Fishman JA, Sykes M, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Results of gal-knockout porcine thymokidney xenografts. Am J Transplant. 2009 Dec;9(12):2669-78. PMCID: PMC2801602.
12: Griesemer AD, Lamattina JC, Okumi M, Etter JD, Shimizu A, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Linked suppression across an MHC-mismatched barrier in a miniature swine kidney transplantation model. J Immunol. 2008 Sep 15;181(6):4027-36. PMCID: PMC2694842.
13: Nobori S, Shimizu A, Okumi M, Samelson-Jones E, Griesemer A, Hirakata A,Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Thymic rejuvenation and the induction of tolerance by adult thymic grafts. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Dec 12;103(50):19081-6. PMCID: PMC1748180.
14: Yamamoto S, Teranishi K, Kamano C, Samelson-Jones E, Arakawa H, Nobori S, Okumi M, Houser S, Shimizu A, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Role of the thymus in transplantation tolerance in miniature swine: V. Deficiency of the graft-to-thymus pathway of tolerance induction in recipients of cardiactransplants. Transplantation. 2006 Feb 27;81(4):607-13. PubMed PMID: 16495810.
15: Nobori S, Samelson-Jones E, Shimizu A, Hisashi Y, Yamamoto S, Kamano C, Teranishi K, Vagefi PA, Nuhn M, Okumi M, Wong B, Houser S, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Long-term acceptance of fully allogeneic cardiac grafts by cotransplantation of vascularized thymus in miniature swine. Transplantation. 2006 Jan 15;81(1):26-35.PMID: 16421473.
16: Shimizu A, Yamada K, Yamamoto S, Lavelle JM, Barth RN, Robson SC, Sachs DH,Colvin RB. Thrombotic microangiopathic glomerulopathy in human decay accelerating factor-transgenic swine-to-baboon kidney xenograftsJ Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Sep;16(9):2732-45. PMID: 16049072.
17: Yamada K*, Griesemer A, Okumi M. Pigs as xenogeneic donors. Transplantation Reviews. 2005 19(3):164-177
18: Kuwaki K, Tseng YL, Dor FJ, Shimizu A, Houser SL, Sanderson TM, Lancos CJ, Prabharasuth DD, Cheng J, Moran K, Hisashi Y, Mueller N, Yamada K, Greenstein JL, Hawley RJ, Patience C, Awwad M, Fishman JA, Robson SC, Schuurman HJ, Sachs DH, Cooper DK. Heart transplantation in baboons using alpha1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pigs as donors: initial experience. Nat Med. 2005 Jan;11(1):29-31. PMID: 15619628.
19: Yamada K, Yazawa K, Shimizu A, Iwanaga T, Hisashi Y, Nuhn M, O'Malley P, Nobori S, Vagefi PA, Patience C, Fishman J, Cooper DK, Hawley RJ, Greenstein J, Schuurman HJ, Awwad M, Sykes M, Sachs DH. Marked prolongation of porcine renal xenograft survival in baboons through the use of alpha1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout donors and the cotransplantation of vascularized thymic tissue. Nat Med. 2005 Jan;11(1):32-4. PubMed PMID: 15619627.
20: Kamano C, Vagefi PA, Kumagai N, Yamamoto S, Barth RN, LaMattina JC, Moran SG, Sachs DH, Yamada K* Vascularized thymic lobe transplantation in miniature swine: thymopoiesis and tolerance induction across fully MHC-mismatched barriers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 16;101(11):3827-32. PMCID: PMC374329.
21: Kumagai N, O'Neil JJ, Barth RN, LaMattina JC, Utsugi R, Moran SG, Yamamoto S, Vagefi PA, Kitamura H, Kamano C, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Vascularized islet-cell transplantation in miniature swine. I. Preparation of vascularized islet kidneys. Transplantation. 2002 Nov 15;74(9):1223-30. PMID: 12451257.
22: Kumagai N, LaMattina JC, Kamano C, Vagefi PA, Barth RN, O'Neil JJ, Yamamoto S, Moran SG, Utsugi R, Sachs DH, Yamada K*. Vascularized islet cell transplantation in miniature Swine: islet- kidney allografts correct the diabetic hyperglycemia induced by total pancreatectomy. Diabetes. 2002 Nov;51(11):3220-8. MID: 12401713.
23: Lee RS, Yamada K, Houser SL, Womer KL, Maloney ME, Rose HS, Sayegh MH, Madsen JC. Indirect recognition of allopeptides promotes the development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Mar 13;98(6):3276-81. PMCID: PMC30644.
24: Yamada K, Shimizu A, Utsugi R, Ierino FL, Gargollo P, Haller GW, Colvin RB, Sachs DH. Thymic transplantation in miniature swine. II. Induction of tolerance by transplantation of composite thymokidneys to thymectomized recipients. J Immunol. 2000 Mar 15;164(6):3079-86. PMID: 10706697.
25: Yamada K, Gianello PR, Ierino FL, Lorf T, Shimizu A, Meehan S, Colvin RB, Sachs DH. Role of the thymus in transplantation tolerance in miniature swine. I. Requirement of the thymus for rapid and stable induction of tolerance to class I-mismatched renal allografts. J Exp Med. 1997 Aug 18;186(4):497-506. PMCID: PMC2199031.

Books (selected)
1. Yamada K*, Tasaki M, Griesemer A, Shah J. Chapter: Xenotransplantation and Kidney Regenerative technology. Kidney Transplantation, Bioengineering and Regeneration, First Edition (ed Giuseppe Oriando)-Elisevier In press
2. Yamada K*, Scalea J. Masayuki Tasaki. Chapter: Xenotransplantation. Oxford Textbook of Transplant Anesthesia (ed. E Pretto). 2015. Oxford University Press. In press
3. Yamada K*, Scalea J. Chapter 12: Thymic Transplantation in Pig to Nonhuman Primates. Xenotransplantation Methodologies (ed. Cristina Corsta and Rafael Manez). 2012. 191-212, Humana in-press.
4. Scalea J, Hanekamp I, Yamada K*. Chapter 10: Mechanisms of tolerance: Role of the thymus and persistence of antigen in calcineurin inhibitor-induce tolerance of renal allografts in MGH miniature swine. Kidney Transplantation New Perspectives 2011. 179-191 InTech Book
5. Yamada K, Vallabhajosyula P, Sachs DH. Chapter 39: Xenotransplantation. Living Donor Organ Transplantation (ed. Gruessner RWG. McGraw Hill Medical). 2011. 748-759.