Prof. Hiroshi Kawamoto

Short Bio

Hiroshi Kawamoto was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1961. He graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, in 1986, and worked as a physician in hospital for three years. He took his doctor course in Kyoto University from 1989, and then joined Prof. Katsura’s laboratory in Chest Disease Institute (currently Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences) from 1994 to 2001 as a visiting researcher, where he started to study the early hematopoiesis and T cell development, while working as a physician in Kyoto Reformatory Hospital. In 2001, He became an assistant professor of Prof. Minato’s laboratory in Faculty of Medicine. He was then promoted to be a team leader of RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology in 2002. In RIKEN, in parallel with the basic research, he has started the study on the development of immune cell therapy using regenerated lymphocytes. He moved to Kyoto University in 2012.

Generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes from iPS cells: Development of “off-the-shelf T cells” for cell therapy targeting cancer and viral infection

We have proposed a strategy to use the iPSC technology for expansion of antigen specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs); iPSCs produced from T cells (T-iPSCs) inherit rearranged T cell receptor (TCR) genes, and thus all regenerated T cells from T-iPSCs express the same TCR. Based on this idea, we previously succeeded in regenerating tumor antigen-specific CTLs (Cell Stem Cell, 2013). To apply this approach in allogeneic setting, we developed a method in which non-T cell derived iPSCs are transduced with exogenous TCR genes (TCR-iPSCs) (PCT/JP2015/070623). We used HLA-haplotype homo semi-universal iPSCs and WT1-specific TCR that had been clinically tested in Japan. The regenerated WT1-CTLs showed cytotoxicity against renal cell carcinoma cells in patient-derived xenograft model (iScience, 2020). We are now preparing for clinical trial to be realized in 3-4 years in Kyoto University Hospital, in which acute myeloid leukemia patients will be treated by the regenerated WT1-CTLs. Since 2020, the whole world has been hit by a pandemic of COVID-19. To fight against this disease, we have started to develop off-the-shelf T cell medicine, and have started to clone corona-specific TCRs. We propose that this strategy can be applied to other viral infections, such as MERS or Ebora hemorrhage fever, etc. (201 words)