Kenichi Okuda M.D., Ph.D.

Research Associate, UNC-Chapel Hill

Dr. Okuda obtained his M.D. degree from Yamagata University in Japan, followed by residency training in internal medicine and fellowship in respiratory medicine. During the fellowship, he worked at a 300-bed hospital for patients with respiratory diseases. Thereafter, he entered the graduate school of medicine at the University of Tokyo where he learned advanced techniques in molecular biology, as well as tissue culture and mouse model management. In the second year of graduate school, he applied for postdoctoral training in Dr. Richard Boucher's laboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to engage in studies of airway and mucus biology. Under Dr. Boucher's supervision, he successfully characterized the regional expression patterns of major airway secretory mucins, MUC5AC and MUC5B, in normal human airways. Using this study, he earned his Ph.D. degree in medicine from The University of Tokyo in Japan in March 2019. His overall research interest focuses on how the mucociliary clearance (MCC) system is regulated to maintain homeostasis in the lung and how it fails in muco-obstructive lung diseases, including CF. Based on these research interests, his long-term career goal is to work, as a professional investigator, toward a full understanding of the MCC system in the lungs and contribute to the improvement of the prognosis in all patients with muco-obstructive lung diseases.