Hiroaki Kaku, PhD

Hiroaki Kaku, PhD
Hiroaki Kaku, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Investigative Medicine


Contact Information

1000 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Department of Investigative Medicine

Hiroaki Kaku, PhD, completed his undergraduate work at the University of Tokyo, Japan and also received a PhD in Immunology from the University of Tokyo in 2004. Dr. Kaku spent 1 year at the University of Tokyo as a postdoctoral fellow. He then continued his postdoctoral training in Dr. Rothstein’s lab, first at Boston University then at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, studying the molecular mechanisms of B cell activation. In 2009, Dr. Kaku was promoted to an Institute Scientist at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. In 2014, Dr. Kaku turned its focus onto cellular stress. He is now interested in how our cells fight against various cellular stresses and why the failure of this protection causes various diseases such as cataracts, neurodegenerative diseases, and myopathies. The cells and tissues in our bodies are continuously exposed to various stresses including heat, cold, UV, oxidative and toxic stresses, and infection. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) play a crucial role in protecting cells from these stresses therefore maintaining cellular viability and tissue homeostasis. HSPs are found in all living organisms from bacteria and plants to humans. HSPs are divided into 6 major groups: small HSPs (sHSPs), HSP40, HSP60, HSP70, HSP90, and large HSPs. Dr. Kaku currently focuses on the functions of sHSPs since they are involved in the mechanism of aging-related diseases including cataracts, neurodegenerative diseases, and myopathies. Thus, he aims to elucidate how sHSPs render resistance to cellular stresses in Dr. Rothstein's lab.