Masatoshi Suzuki, DVM, PHD

Position title: Associate 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


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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:
  • Hosoyama T, McGivern JM, Van Dyke J, Ebert A, Suzuki M. Derivation of myogenic progenitors directly from human pluripotent stem cells using a sphere-based culture. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 3: 564-74, 2014.
  • Krakora D, Mulcrone P, Meyer M, Lewis C, Bernau K, Gowing G, Zimprich C, Aebischer P, Svendsen CN,  Suzuki M. Synergistic Effects of GDNF and VEGF on Lifespan and Disease Progression in a Familial ALS Rat Model. Molecular Therapy, 21: 1602-10, 2013.
  • Hosoyama T, Meyer M, Krakora D,  Suzuki M.Isolation and in vitro propagation of human skeletal muscle progenitor cells from fetal muscle. Cell Biology International, 37: 191-6, 2013.
  • Hosoyama T, Van Dyke J,  Suzuki M.Applications of skeletal muscle progenitor cells for neuromuscular diseases. American Journal of Stem Cells, 1: 253-63, 2012.
  • Li R, Strykowski R, Meyer M, Mulcrone P, Krakora D,  Suzuki M.Male-specific differences in proliferation, neurogenesis, and sensitivity to oxidative stress in neural progenitor cells derived from a rat model of ALS. PLoS ONE, 7: e48581, 2012.