Department of Gastroenterology





The Department of Gastroenterology is an energetic academic organization specializing in internal medicine, in particular Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Pancreatology. With a highly capable staff, our department provides up-to-date medical care for patients, as well as a well-rounded education for medical students who will become future leaders in the life science field. Members of our department conduct cutting-edge clinical research, and we provide training in the clinical practice of medicine, in particular gastroenterology. We are also contributing new knowledge through highly creative research activities in this field.
The Department of Gastroenterology currently consists of a professor, two associate professors, eight assistant professors, nine senior staff members and three graduate students.
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A number of talented medical staff members are working at our department, and they continuously exert themselves to implement high quality medical treatment to meet patientsf needs. Clinical associates, senior staff and residents take care of in-patients. General diagnoses, therapeutic plans and decisions for each inpatient are proposed and evaluated at the weekly professorfs round. Our department offers out-patient care every day for gastroenterological diseases. Clinical conferences are held to discuss patients with difficult clinical problems.
Residents of our University Hospital join the Department of Gastroenterology for a two-month rotation in their first and second year as a physician, where they learn therapeutics and diagnostics in gastroenterology, together with general medicine. If they develop a particular interest in gastroenterology, they may spend a few years learning advanced techniques in gastroenterology in affiliated hospitals. After this, they usually return to the department and further improve their clinical skills.
Last year, gastroduodenal endoscopy was performed on 3000 patients, colonoscopy on 2000 patients, and endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) on 300 patients in our department. We recently introduced double-balloon endoscopy for thorough examination of the small intestines as well. All of these interventions are performed by department members who are specially trained in each technique. We actively aim for fully developed therapies, including endoscopic treatment for neoplasms in the gastrointestinal and pancreato-biliary tract, percutaneous radiofrequency ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma and advanced molecular targeted-therapeutics for inflammatory bowel diseases. Using advanced bio-scientific technology, we recently carried out a successful autologous bone marrow cell infusion therapy for patients with liver cirrhosis. We also focus on new antiviral strategies against chronic viral hepatitis and prevention of hepatic malignancy.
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Medical students attend lectures on specialized fields of internal medicine, especially gastroenterology, given by staff members of the department, and they receive bedside training to deepen their knowledge of diseases. In particular, our department emphasizes the importance of this type of teaching for the fifth and sixth year students, where each student is allotted an in-patient and joins the group of physicians in charge of the patient for medical examination and treatment. During the bedside teaching, our associates instruct them on a person-to-person basis how to arrive at correct diagnoses, and therapies, techniques of physical examination, how to interpret laboratory tests and evaluate other medical examinations, and basic medical procedures. Students are also requested to be present at the weekly round given by the professor.
Graduate students are trained as physicians in the Yamagata University Hospital and its affiliated hospitals. The main purpose of the department is to produce refined physicians with specialized skills and a broad human vision. The postgraduate course is started after clinical training as a resident. Research activities carried out by students generally focus on research projects in one of our laboratories. The students conduct research under the supervision of specialists and the professor.
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Our department has three laboratories; of the gastrointestinal tract, liver diseases and bilio-pancreatic diseases. Recently, our department has upgraded its facilities so that we have very well-furnished research laboratories. Each laboratory holds its own conference and journal club on a weekly basis. The research fields cover wide areas of gastroenterology. The following themes are currently being investigated in our department;

(1) Laboratory of gastrointestinal tract

  • Metabolic abnormalities involved in colorectal carcinogenesis
  • Immunotherapeutics for inflammatory bowel diseases:
    • Glucocorticoid receptor and therapeutic responses
    • Biological effects of serine protease inhibitors
    • Leukocyte adsorptive apheresis

(2) Laboratory of pancreas and bile tract

  • Molecular therapeutics for pancreatic diseases:
    • Mechanism(s) of acute and chronic pancreatitis
    • Angiotensin receptor antagonist for pancreatitis
  • Molecular pathology in pancreatic cancer and bile duct tumor:
    • Promoter hypermethylation and somatic mutation
  • Impaired function of pancreas and insulin resistance

(3) Laboratory of liver diseases

  • Liver molecular therapeutics:
    • Innovative new methods to control viral hepatitis
    • Analysis of the secondary structure of HCV NS3 protein amino terminus
    • Effect of angiotensin receptor antagonist on liver fibrosis
  • Liver regenerative medicine:
    • Autologous bone marrow cell infusion therapy
  • Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of hepatitis C:
    • Genome science of single-nucleotide polymorphisms
    • In-vitro replicated infectious HCV system
  • Molecular analysis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

We are pleased to support the professional development of physicians with creative and inquiring minds. We WELCOME all highly motivated medical students.
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Yoshiyuki UENO, M.D. , Ph.D.

Associate Professor:

Naohiko MAKINO, M.D. , Ph.D.


Yasuhiko ABE, M.D. , Ph.D.
Kazuo OKUMOTO, M.D. , Ph.D.

Assistant Professor:

Yoshiaki ANDO, M.D. , Ph.D.
Hiroaki HAGA, M.D. , Ph.D.
Yu SASAKI, M.D. , Ph.D.
Akiko MATSUDA, M.D. , Ph.D.
Yasuharu KAKIZAKI, M.D. , Ph.D.
Takao YAOITA, M.D. , Ph.D.
Makoto YAGI, M.D. , Ph.D.

Senior Staff:

Shoichi NISHISE, M.D. , Ph.D.
Yushi IKEDA, M.D. , Ph.D.
Kyoko TOMITA, M.D. , Ph.D.
Tomohiro KATSUMI, M.D. , Ph.D.

Graduate student:

Tetsuya ISHIZAWA, M.D.
Yoshihiko SAITO, M.D.
Kazuhiro SAKUTA, M.D.
Toshikazu KOBAYASHI, M.D.
Taketo NISHINA, M.D.
Masakuni SHOJI, M.D.

Clinical Fellow:

Ayako SUGAI, M.D.


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Copyright (c) Yamagata University Faculty of Medicine.