Masatoshi Suzuki, DVM, PHD

Position title: Professor. Comparative Biosciences


Phone: 608-262-4264

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Brain, muscle, neuromuscular disease, ALS, muscular dystrophy
Aligned Research Focus:
Using stem cells as an in vitro model to understand disease pathobiology and the possible application of stem cells as a therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.
Masa Suzuki headshot


News Releases:
More information:
Research Description:

Our current research is to apply stem cell technology to disease modeling and therapeutic applications for neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and muscular dystrophy.

We are using human neural progenitor cells and mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic applications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The overall aim of our current idea is to provide growth factor delivery using stem cells to the spinal cord (i.e. cell body) and/or skeletal muscle (i.e. nerve terminals of motor neurons). We will establish whether stem cell and growth factor therapies can protect motor neurons from degeneration in a rat model of ALS.

Furthermore, we start a new research project to establish skeletal muscle stem cells using human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. This project is a part of the first project finding the best cells to transplant into the muscle for ALS and also will bring new therapeutic applications to other muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Featured Researcher Summer 2014

Selected References:
  • Lynch EM, Robertson S, FitzGibbons C, Reilly M, Switalski C, Eckardt A, Tey SR, Hayakawa K, Suzuki M (2021). Transcriptome analysis using patient iPSC-derived skeletal myocytes: Bet1L as a new molecule possibly linked to neuromuscular junction degeneration in ALS. Exp Neurol.  Nov;345:113815. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8429236.
  • Lynch E, Semrad T, Belsito VS, FitzGibbons C, Reilly M, Hayakawa K, Suzuki M (2019). C9ORF72-related cellular pathology in skeletal myocytes derived from ALS-patient induced pluripotent stem cells. Dis Model Mech, 12(8).  PubMed PMID: 31439573.
  • Jiwlawat N, Lynch EM, Napiwocki BN, Stempien A, Ashton RS, Kamp TJ, Crone WC, Suzuki M (2019). Micropatterned substrates with physiological stiffness promote cell maturation and Pompe disease phenotype in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived skeletal myocytes. Biotechnol Bioeng, 116(9):2377-2392. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6699746.
  • Jiwlawat S, Lynch E, Glaser J, Smit-Oistad I, Jeffrey J, Van Dyke JM, Suzuki M (2017). Differentiation and sarcomere formation in skeletal myocytes directly prepared from human induced pluripotent stem cells using a sphere-based culture. Differentiation,  96:70-81. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5669825.
  • Hosoyama T, McGivern JM, Van Dyke J, Ebert A, Suzuki M (2014). Derivation of myogenic progenitors directly from human pluripotent stem cells using a sphere-based culture. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 3: 564-74. PMCID: PMC4006483.
  • Krakora D, Mulcrone PL, Meyer M, Lewis CM, Bernau K, Gowing G, Zimprich C, Aebischer P, Svendsen CN, Suzuki M (2013). Synergistic effects of GDNF and VEGF on lifespan and disease progression in a familial ALS rat model. Molecular Therapy, 21: 1602-10. PMCID: PMC3734670.