Masashi Yanagisawa

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Election Year: 2003
Primary Section: 23, Physiology and Pharmacology
Secondary Section: 42, Medical Physiology and Metabolism
Membership Type: Emeritus

Research Interests

In 1988, Dr. Yanagisawa and his colleagues identified endothelin as a potent vasoconstrictor factor produced by endothelial cells. Subsequently, his laboratory identified and molecularly characterized the endothelin isopeptide family, endothelin receptors, and endothelin converting enzymes. His recent series of gene targeting experiments in mice has unexpectedly demonstrated that the endothelin pathways are important in the embryonic development of neural crest-derived tissues, and has led to the discovery that endothelin and endothelin receptor mutations cause Hirschsprung's disease and related neurocristopathies in humans. Last year, his group also discovered orexins as endogenous ligands for orphan G protein-coupled receptors that may regulate feeding behavior. Recent results from his laboratory also indicate that orexins are fundamentally involved in the regulation of sleep.

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