Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases

Makoto Murakami, Ph.D.

Makoto Murakami, Ph.D.

Makoto Murakami, Ph.D., is a Professor of the Graduate School of Medicine and head of the laboratory of Microenvironmental Metabolic Health Sciences, Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine at the University of Tokyo, Japan.


Professor Murakami received his PhD from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokyo in 1991.  From 1991-1993 he did a research fellowship at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in Tokyo and later completed a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He joined the faculty at the Showa University in Tokyo as Assistant Professor in 1995 and within two years was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. In 2005, he was appointed as Project Leader of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science.   In 2017, he was appointed as full Professor at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo, where he continues to serve today.


Dr. Murakami is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including, but not limited to receiving the Young Investigator Award from the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan in 1999, the Young Investigator Award from the Japanese Society of Inflammation and Regeneration in 2000, the Investigator Award from the Teruma Science Foundation in 2014, an award from the Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2015, and also the Investigator Award for the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science in 2008. He is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), the Japanese Biochemistry Society and the Japanese Lipid Biochemistry Society, to name a few.


Dr. Murakami is a biochemist with a long-standing interest in phospholipase A2s (PLA2s) and lipid biology. His interest and commitment to the analysis of PLA2 and lipid mediator biosynthesis laid its roots about 35 years ago with the discovery of elevated levels of secreted PLA2 (sPLA2) in inflammation and his question as to the functions of this enzyme family. In the mid-1990s, he worked on mast cell biology in Professor Frank Austen’s labortory at Harvard University and characterized the view of lipid mediator biosynthesis from mouse mast cells. In 1994-2000, many PLA2 subtypes were cloned, and stimulated by this he showed basic properties of nearly a full set of PLA2 subtypes in vitro. After 2005, he shifted his research to the in vivo analyses of PLA2s using knockout/transgenic mice at the Tokyo Meetroplitan Institute of Medical Science. At the University of Tokyo Graduate Shool of Medicine, he is now one of the top scientists in the PLA2 and lipid research field.  His current research focuses on the roles of various PLA2s in allergy, immunity, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, cancer, reproduction, skin homeostasis, etc. The catchphrase for his present work is “the research of QOL (Quality of Lipids) for QOL (Quality of Life)”. He has published over 197 peer reviewed original articles and 62 review articles in the fields of lipid biochemistry, molecular biology, and immunology. He has presented nearly 50 invited lectures at International conferences. He organized the 6th International Conference on Phospholipase A2 and Lipid Mediators in 2015 as chair and the 60th International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids in 2019  as co-chair.