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RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences Laboratory for Immunotherapy

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

Research Summary

Shin-ichiro  Fujii(M.D., Ph.D)

The aims of the laboratory are to extend basic studies for advancing immunotherapy and translational research, from basic studies back and forth to the bedside in the field of cancer and the control of other diseases. For this purpose, we have been focusing on projects related to a role of dendritic cells (DCs) in situ in tumor bearing animals. Additionally, we have been developing translational research projects to establish therapeutic strategies to generate strong antitumor immunity. We previously reported the full maturation of DCs soon after the activation of NKT cells in vivo. Based on this observation, we have developed and established artificial adjuvant vector cells (aAVC) as a new type of drug delivery system composed of NKT cell ligand and tumor-associated antigen. Our group has been making efforts in translational research toward eventual clinical trials. As the other translational research projects, we have been working a collaborative study of the RIKEN iPS-group and working on a joint clinical phase I /IIa study of NKT cell therapy.

Main Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy

Related Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology


  • Dendritic cells
  • Innate immunity
  • Adaptive immunity
  • Cancer Vaccine
  • NKT cells

Selected Publications

  • 1.Fujii, S*., and Shimizu, K.:
    "Exploiting antitumor immunotherapeutic novel strategies by deciphering the cross-talk between invariant NKT cells and dendritic cells."
    Frontiers Immunol. (in press). (*corresponding author)
  • 2.Shimizu, K., Yamasaki, S., Shinga, J., Sato, Y., Watanabe, T., Ohara, O., Kuzushima, K., Yagita, H., Komuro, Y., Asakura, M., and Fujii, S*.:
    "Systemic DC activation modulates the tumor microenvironment and shapes the long-lived tumor-specific memory mediated by CD8+ T cells."
    Cancer Res. 76:3756-66 (2016) (*corresponding author)
  • 3.Iyoda, T., Yamada, D., Vizcardo, R., Shimizu, K., Sato, Y., Endo, TA., Kitahara, G., Okoshi, M., Kobayashi, M., Sakurai, M., Ohara, O., Taniguchi, M., Koseki, H. *, Fujii S*.:
    "Efficient regeneration of Human Vα24+ invariant NKT cells and their anti-tumor activity in vivo."
    Stem Cells . 34:2852-2860 (2016)
  • 4.Yamasaki, S., Shimizu, K., Kometani, K., Sakurai, M., Kawamura, M., and Fujii. S*.:
    "In vivo dendritic cell targeting cellular vaccine induces CD4+ Tfh cell-dependent antibody against influenza virus."
    Sci Rep. 6:35173 (2016) 
  • 5.Li, Y., Takahashi, Y., Fujii, S., Zhou, Y., Hong, R., Suzuki, A., Tsubata, T., Hase, K., Wang, JY.,
    "EAF2 mediates germinal centre B-cell apoptosis to suppress excessive immune responses and prevent autoimmunity."
    Nat Commun. 3:10836. (2016)
  • 6.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."
    Oncoimmunology. 4(3):e995541. (2015)
  • 7.Shimizu, K., Shinga, J., Yamasaki, S., Kawamura, M., Dörrie, J., Schaft, N., Sato, Y., Iyoda, T., Fujii, S*.:
    "Transfer of mRNA Encoding Invariant NKT Cell Receptors Imparts Glycolipid Specific Responses to T Cells and γδT Cells."
    PLoS One. 10(6):e0131477. (2015)
  • 8.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*.: 
    "KLRG1+invariant natural killer T cells are long-lived effectors."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 111:12474-12479. (2014)
  • 9.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. 73:62-73. (2013)
  • 10.Shimizu, K., Asakura, M., Shinga, J., Sato, Y., Kitahara, S., Hoshino, K., Kaisho, T., Schoenberger, SP., Ezaki, T., Fujii, S*.:
    "Invariant NKT cells induce plasmacytoid DC cross-talk with conventional DCs for efficient memory CD8+ T cell induction."
    J Immunol. 190(11):5609-19. (2013)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Shin-ichiro Fujii
Team Leader

Core members

Kanako Shimizu
Senior Research Scientist
Tomonori Iyoda
Research Scientist
Masahiro Okada
Research Scientist
Shogo Ueda
Postdoctoral Researcher
Jun Shinga
Research Associate
Masami Kawamura
Technical Staff I
An Sanpei
Technical Staff I
Hiroshi Nakazato
Technical Staff I
Mikiko Satoh
Technical Staff II
Yuko Kurokochi
Technical Staff II
Akimi Banno
Technical Staff II
Nozomi Murayama
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] riken.jp