Kazutoshi Mori PhD

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award, 2009
"For the dissection and elucidation of a key pathway in the unfolded protein response which regulates protein folding in the cell."

Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan


Dr. Mori's Research Interest:
Proteins must be correctly folded and assembled to fulfill their functions as assigned by genetic code. Unfolding or misfolding of proteins constitutes a fundamental threat to all living cells. In eukaryotes, proteins can be unfolded or misfolded in a variety of subcellular compartments, but the risk of protein misfolding is particularly acute in the endoplasmic reticulum, in which newly synthesized secretory and transmembrane proteins attain their proper tertiary structure. With their pioneering work on an intracellular signaling pathway called the 'Unfolded Protein Response', Dr. Mori, together with Dr. Walter, have elucidated the molecular mechanisms by which cells adjust their capacity for protein folding and quality control according to need. Their work provides answers to the fundamental question of how cells maintain a proper abundance of organelles and has far reaching implications for our understanding of the development of specialized cell types and various diseases, including protein folding disorders, diabetes, heart diseases, atherosclerosis and cancer.