Shuntaro Morikawa was born and raised in Sapporo, Japan and received his M.D. in 2007. He did his medicine and pediatric endocrinology clinical training at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan where he earned a Ph.D. degree in Pediatric Endocrinology in 2017 under the guidance of Dr. Toshihiro Tajima. His Ph.D. research focused on Wolfram syndrome, which causes monogenic diabetes in childhood. In October 2017, he joined Dr. Fumihiko Urano’s laboratory to study the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in diabetes.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cellular compartment which plays a key role in secretory protein production and calcium storage. Growing evidence indicates that accumulation of misfolded protein in endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress) is a trigger for autoimmunity, cell dysfunction, and cell death. My research purpose is to understand the effect of ER stress on pancreatic beta cell death. Additionally, I am interested in mitochondrial dysfunction in beta cells caused by ER stress. We aim to develop novel therapeutic approaches for ER stress-mediated beta cell dysfunction and diabetes focusing on highly soluble small molecules.