Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Laboratory for Immunotherapy

Team Leader: Shin-ichiro Fujii (M.D., Ph.D)
Shin-ichiro  Fujii(M.D., Ph.D)

The aims of the laboratory are to extend our basic studies for advancing immunotherapy and translational research (TR), from basic studies back and forth to the bedside in the field of cancer. To accomplish this, we have developed artificial adjuvant vector cells as a new type of drug delivery system composed of NKT ligand and tumor associated antigen, linking innate and adaptive immunity. Under the RIKEN TR program and Tokyo University TR program, we are making efforts for preclinical studies that will ultimately lead to clinical trials. We also have been working in two collaborative studies, i.e, establishment of iPS-NKT cell study and a joint clinical phase I / IIa study of NKT cell therapy with the National Hospital Organization for early stage of lung cancer patients.

Main Research Field

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences / Biology

Research Subjects

  • Development of artificial adjuvant vector cells
  • Analysis of dendritic cells in situ linking innate and adaptive immunity
  • Immune tolerance generated in the cancer microenvironment
  • Translational research for developing human iPS-derived NKT cells
  • Clinical research, double blind, randomized phase Ⅱa trial of α-GalCer-loaded dendritic cells

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Fujii S, Shinga J, Yamsaki S, Sato Y, Asakura M, Shimizu K.:
    "In vivo targeting of dendritic cells with artificial adjuvant vector cells (aAVC) as a novel cancer immunotherapy."
    Inflammation and Immunity in Cancer, Springer Japan KK, Tokyo (in press)
  2. *Sato Y, Shimizu K, Shinga J, Hidaka M, Kawano F, Kakimi K, Yamasaki S, Asakura M, Fujii S.:
    "Characterization of the myeloid-derived suppressor cell subset regulated by NK cells in malignant lymphoma."
    OncoImmunol (in press)
  3. Shimizu K, Sato Y, Shinga J, Watanabe T, Endo T, Asakura M, Yamasaki S, Kawahara K, Kinjo Y, Kitamura H, Watarai H, Ishii Y, Tsuji M, Taniguchi M, Ohara O, Fujii S.:
    "KLRG+ invariant natural killer T cells are long-lived effectors."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 111:12474-9.
  4. *Hosoi A, Matsushita H, Shimizu K, Fujii S, Ueha S, Abe J, Kurachi M, Maekawa R, Matsushima K, Kakimi K:
    "Adoptive cytotoxic T lymphocyte therapy triggers a counter-regulatory immunosuppressive mechanism via recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells."
    Int. J. Cancer 2014, 134:1810-1822.
  5. Shimizu, K., Asakura, M., Shinga, J., Sato, Y., Kitahara, S., Hoshino, K., Kaisho, T., Schoenberger, SP., Ezaki, T., and Fujii, S.:
    "Invariant NKT cells induce plasmacytoid DC cross-talk with conventional DCs for efficient memory CD8+ T cell induction."
    J Immunol. 2013, 190(11):5609-19.
  6. Fujii S and Shimizu K.:
    "Immunotherapy with artificial adjuvant vector cells (aAVCs): harnessing both arms of the immune response."
    OncoImmunol 2013, 2(4):e23432.
  7. Vizcardo R, Masuda K, Yamada D, Ikawa T, Shimizu K, Fujii S, Koseki H, Kawamoto H.:
    "Regeneration of antigen-specific T cells from iPS cells derived from human CD8+ mature T cells."
    Cell Stem Cell 2012, 12:31-36.
  8. Shimizu K, Mizuno T, Shinga J, Asakura M, Kakimi K, Ishii Y, Masuda K, Maeda T, Sugahara H, Sato Y, Matsushita H, Nishida K, Hanada KI, Dörrie J, Schaft N, Bickham K, Koike H, Ando T, Nagai R, Fujii S.:
    "Vaccination with antigen-transfected, NKT cell ligand-loaded, human cells elicits robust in situ immune responses by dendritic cells."
    Cancer Res. 2013, 73:62-73.
  9. Shimizu K, Asakura M, Fujii S.:
    "Prolonged antitumor NK cell reactivity elicited by CXCL-10-expressing dendritic cells licensed by CD40L+CD4+ memory T cells."
    J. Immunol. 2011:186:5927-37.a
  10. Asano K, Nabeyama A, Miyake Y, Qiu CH, Kurita A, Tomura M, Kanagawa O, Fujii S, Tanaka M.:
    "CD169-Positive Macrophages Dominate Antitumor Immunity by Crosspresenting Dead Cell-Associated Antigens."
    Immunity 2011, 34:85-95.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Shin-ichiro Fujii
Team Leader

Core Members

Tomonori Iyoda
Research Scientist
Yusuke Sato
Postdoctoral Researcher
Kazuko Kanegae
Technical Staff I
Ai Sugawara
Technical Staff I
Maki Honma
Technical Staff II

Contact information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama City, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-7062
Fax: +81-(0)45-503-7061

Email: shin-ichiro.fujii [at]

Related links

Recent research results