October 2023 – Kenichi Katsurada, MD, PhD (Japan)

Email: katsurada@jichi.ac.jp

  1. Tell us about yourself.

I am an assistant professor of clinical pharmacology and cardiovascular medicine at Jichi Medical University in Japan. While working as a cardiologist, I started basic research when I entered graduate school. I got my PhD in 2015 at Jichi Medical University under the supervision of Prof. Toshihiko Yada and Prof. Kazuomi Kario. From 2017 to 2020 I studied as a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Kaushik P. Patel’s laboratory at the University Nebraska Medical Center in US. Now I am working on both basic research and clinical cardiology in my current facility.

  1. What are your research interests?

My research interests are in autonomic cardiology, with a focus on renal denervation to treat cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and heart failure.

  1. What are you working on right now?

In basic research using animal models I am working on my theme investigating the blood pressure regulation by interaction between the hypothalamus and the renal nerves in both physiological and pathophysiological state. Also, I am a member of the Japanese Society of Hypertension renal denervation working group and am working on a clinical study of renal denervation in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

  1. What do you hope to achieve in the field of hypertension over the next 5 years?

In Japan the ongoing sham-controlled RADIANCE HTN-DUO RCT is evaluating the effect of renal denervation on hypertensive patients treated with two antihypertensive drugs. I hope to achieve the introduction of renal denervation in clinical practice in Japan within the next 5 years. In basic research I hope to elucidate the part of mechanisms of beneficial effects of renal denervation on various hypertensive conditions by modulating central nervous system.

  1. What challenges have you faced in your career to date?

Balancing academic and clinical work is not easy. However, I would like to thank my colleagues and supervisors who support me in making this possible.

  1. Which of your publications are you proudest of and why (please include paper reference)

I am proud of the following publication.

Katsurada K, Nandi SS, Sharma NM, Patel KP. Enhanced Expression and Function of Renal SGLT2 (Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2) in Heart Failure: Role of Renal Nerves. Circ Heart Fail. 2021 Dec;14(12):e008365.

This study using rats with heart failure elucidates that the enhanced tonic renal sympathetic nerve activation in heart failure increases the expression and functional activity of renal SGLT2. These findings provide critical insight into the underlying mechanisms for the beneficial effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on heart failure reported in the clinical studies.

  1. What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own?

My favourite manuscript is as follows.

Patel KP, Xu B, Liu X, Sharma NM, Zheng H. Renal Denervation Improves Exaggerated Sympathoexcitation in Rats With Heart Failure: A Role for Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase in the Paraventricular Nucleus. Hypertension. 2016 Jul;68(1):175-84.

This study demonstrates that the increased activation of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus via activation of afferent renal nerves contributes to the enhanced sympathetic activity in heart failure, and renal denervation restores nNOS levels in the paraventricular nucleus to reverse exaggerated systemic sympathetic activity.

This paper attracted and motivated me to go abroad and study in the Dr. Patel’s laboratory.

  1. What are your passions outside of work?

My passion outside of work is to watch baseball games.