Takanori Furukawa

Dr, Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow

Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Takanori Furukawa is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow who joined the School of Health & Life Sciences at Teesside University in November 2023. He is a fungal molecular biologist with more than 15 years of research experience in medical mycology and fungal biotechnology. His current research primarily focuses on saving lives from human fungal diseases by understanding the molecular basis of pathogenicity and antifungal drug resistance using the major mould pathogen of human lungs, Aspergillus fumigatus, as a model system. 

Takanori completed his PhD in Bioengineering in 2009 at Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan, where he studied the transcriptional regulation of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes in the model cellulolytic fungus Trichoderma reesei and genetic engineering of the fungus for bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass, the most abundant renewable feedstock on Earth. After a postdoctoral position at Nagaoka University of Technology, he moved from Japan to the UK in 2013 to join the Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology (SynthSys) at the University of Edinburgh as a postdoctoral research associate. Working closely with an industrial partner, Takanori constructed an artificial lignin-degrading enzyme system using yeasts as chassis microorganisms with synthetic biology approaches and investigated their potential for the bioconversion of lignin, the major aromatic biopolymer derived from lignocellulosic biomass.

In 2015, Takanori joined the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG) to pursue further career growth in the field of medical mycology. His main achievement at the MFIG includes the characterisation of a whole-transcription factor knockout mutant collection of the important human fungal pathogen A. fumigatus, which led to the identification of the full-cohort of transcription factors that govern resistance to clinically important antifungals. In 2022, he was awarded a University of Manchester/Wellcome-ISSF "EDI Perera Fellowship”, which allowed him to develop an independent research trajectory focusing on epigenetics in medical mycology.

In his Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship at Teesside University, Takanori will investigate the role of epigenetics in fungal infection biology using A. fumigatus as a model system.

Summary of Research Interests

Takanori’s research interests lie in understanding the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in eukaryotic microorganisms, especially in filamentous fungi, and their application in medical mycology and fungal biotechnology. He is also interested in understanding various life processes using filamentous fungus as a model system.

His current research interests include

  • Epigenetics in infection biology
  • Molecular basis of fungal pathogenecity
  • Antifungal drug resistance
  • Fungal white biotechnology

 

Research Projects & External Funding

2022 Fungal Infection Trust Research Grant "Elucidating the Epigenetic Landscape of the Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus" (PI)

2022 University of Manchester/Wellcome ISSF EDI Perera Fellowship (PI)

External Roles and Professional Activities

2019 - present  The British Society for Medical Mycology (member)

2015 - present  The British Mycolgical Society (member)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Doctor of Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology

1 Apr 200630 Jun 2009

Award Date: 30 Jun 2009

Master, Master of Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology

1 Apr 200431 Mar 2006

Award Date: 31 Mar 2006

Bachelor, Bachelor of Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology

1 Apr 200231 Mar 2004

Award Date: 31 Mar 2004

Associate in Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Oyama College

1 Apr 199731 Mar 2002

Award Date: 31 Mar 2002

External positions

Guest Lecturer (BSc Bioengineering), Nagaoka University of Technology

1 Nov 2018 → …

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