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Research Units

Hypertension & Autonomic Nervous Function Research Unit

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menu Research Outline Main Research Themes and Relevant Publications Principle Investigator of the group Staff and Research Focus

Principle Investigator of the group

Yoshitaka Hirooka, M.D., Ph.D.

Yoshitaka Hirooka, M.D., Ph.D.Dr. Yoshitaka Hirooka graduated from Kyushu University School of Medicine in 1984 and joined the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of Kyushu University (Dr. Motoomi Nakamura, Professor Emeritus). He spent his first year of residence at the Department of Internal Medicine and his second year at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of Kyushu University Hospital. Thereafter he was engaged in research related to neural control for two years as a postgraduate student of Kyushu University School of Medicine, and was awarded PhD in Medical Science (supervisor: Professor Akira Takeshita) for his research on the mechanism of neural control by atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). At the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of Iizuka Hospital and the Department of Internal Medicine of Kyushu Kosei Nenkin Hospital, he received training in internal medicine as well as in the specialty of cardiovascular medicine including cardiac catheter examination. He was the first person in the department to be accredited as an internist and also a specialist in cardiovascular medicine by the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine by examination.

As a clinical fellow at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of Kyushu University Hospital, he continued to advance his skills as a cardiovascular specialist and at the same time pursued his research on endothelial function. From November 1992 to March 1995, he studied abroad at the University of Sydney, Australia with the objective to understand the importance of the cardiovascular center in the control of circulation and to expand his research to elucidate disease pathology. He started his study abroad as a visiting researcher on a postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Uehara Memorial Foundation. In the middle of his study, he was formally offered the position of Research Officer by the university. He was appointed Research Associate at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of Kyushu University Hospital in April 1996, and was promoted to Assistant Professor at the Department of Coronary Disease Treatment in June 2003.

From August 2006 to present, has held the position of Assistant Professor at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kyushu University Hospital. During his clinical career, he successively held the posts of Chief of Clinical Staff, Chief of Ward, and Chief of Outpatient Clinic. He has been engaged in research of the mechanisms for the control and modulation of circulation, and the development of treatment from this perspective. Based on the mechanism of sympathetic nervous system activation in hypertension and heart failure, he used a novel method and demonstrated the importance of nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species and Rho-kinase in the brain as molecular mechanisms, opening the way to new fields of research in the world. He has continued the research related to endothelial function abnormality in peripheral circulation.

He is a member of the editorial board of Hypertension and American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, and serves as reviewer in many scientific journals. At the same time he also teaches and supervises postgraduate students and research fellows in their research and degree acquisition. His research achievements include numerous publications and awards from academic societies, as well as the Prize for Science and Technology from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

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