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Hirohito Kita, M.D. & Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., named 2023 Arizona and Florida Investigators of the Year

Mayo Clinic recognized two physician researchers as Investigators of the Year on the Arizona and Florida campuses — a recognition of significant advances that have strongly influenced the honorees’ fields of research.

Hirohito Kita, M.D., Arizona Investigator of the Year

Dr. Kita (IMM ’91), Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, has conducted laboratory-based research to investigate the immunological mechanisms of allergic diseases during 31 years at Mayo Clinic. His research program has continuously been supported by the NIH since 1994, with funding totaling more than $32.5 million.

Dr. Kita’s initial work helped to define the immunobiology of eosinophils, including eosinophil effector functions and their roles in human diseases. He expanded the scope of his research and has investigated the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in type 2 immune responses. This body of work contributed to the recognition of immunological activities of allergens and the understanding of how innate and adaptive immune cells play a role in the development of disease.

Dr. Kita received his medical degree from Mie University in Japan. He completed his residency and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatrics and allergy at Mie National Hospital. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in immunology and internal medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., Florida Investigator of the Year

Dr. Ikezu (NSCI ’21), Department of Neuroscience, joined Mayo Clinic in 2021 and leads the Molecular Neurotherapeutics Laboratory. He is internationally recognized as an expert in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, with research focusing on investigating extracellular vesicles  and their role in how disease spreads in the brain.

Dr. Ikezu’s research has been published in Nature Neuroscience, Science Translational Medicine, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Molecular Neurodegeneration, and Brain, and has consulting positions with dozens of international journals. Dr. Ikezu has secured extramural funding, primarily from the NIH, and has received six NIH R01 grants since joining Mayo Clinic. He is a professor of neuroscience in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Ikezu’s educational background includes a medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo; a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine; a research fellowship in anesthesia from Shriners Burns Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital; and a postdoctoral fellowship in neurosciences at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

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