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Manabu Kurokawa, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Molecular and Systems Biology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Ph.D. 2004
Hokkaido University – DVM 1999

Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine

Contact Information:

HB 7650, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Geisel School of Medicine
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: Rubin 603
Phone: 603-653-9909
Fax: 603-650-1129

Professional Interests:

Cancer biology
Resistance to targeted therapy
Protein ubiquitination and degradation pathways

Rotations and Thesis Projects:

1) Molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapy

2) Signaling pathways that regulate p53 activation

3) Cancer metabolism and drug resistance

Grant Information:

NIH NCI R00 CA140948

Courses Taught:

PEMM 131 (Experimental Therapeutics): BH3 profiling (Spring 2014)
Pharm 133 (Pharmacology of Drug Development): Trastuzumab and lapatinib (Fall 2014)


Dr. Kurokawa, a native of Japan, received a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (equivalent to the D.V.M. in the United States) from Hokkaido University in 1999. He moved to the United States to pursue doctoral work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying the basic signaling mechanisms of fertilization under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Fissore. He received his Ph.D. in 2004. Dr. Kurokawa conducted his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Sally Kornbluth at Duke University, studying the regulation of apoptosis in cancer. In 2012, Dr. Kurokawa joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth as an Assistant Professor.

Mentoring Information:

Will Feng, PEMM student

Selected Publications:


  • Kurokawa M, Yoon SY, Alfandari D, Fukami K, Sato K, Fissore RA. Proteolytic processing of phospholipase Czeta and [Ca2+]i oscillations during mammalian fertilization. Dev Biol. 2007;312:407-18. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kurokawa M, Zhao C, Reya T, Kornbluth S. Inhibition of apoptosome formation by suppression of Hsp90beta phosphorylation in tyrosine kinase-induced leukemias. Mol Cell Biol. 2008;28:5494-506. (view details on MedLine)

  • Nutt LK, Buchakjian MR, Gan E, Darbandi R, Yoon SY, Wu JQ, Miyamoto YJ, Gibbons JA, Andersen JL, Freel CD, Tang W, He C, Kurokawa M, Wang Y, Margolis SS, Fissore RA, Kornbluth S. Metabolic control of oocyte apoptosis mediated by 14-3-3zeta-regulated dephosphorylation of caspase-2. Dev Cell. 2009;16:856-66. Erratum in: Dev Cell. 2010 Jan;18(1):165. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kurokawa M, Kornbluth S. Caspases and kinases in a death grip. Cell. 2009;138:838-54. Review. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kurokawa M, Kornbluth S. Stalling in mitosis and releasing the apoptotic brake. EMBO J. 2010;29:2255-7. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kim J, Parrish AB, Kurokawa M, Matsuura K, Freel CD, Andersen JL, Johnson CE, Kornbluth S. Rsk-mediated phosphorylation and 14-3-3ɛ binding of Apaf-1 suppresses cytochrome c-induced apoptosis. EMBO J. 2012;31:1279-92. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kurokawa M, Ito T, Yang CS, Zhao C, Macintyre AN, Rizzieri DA, Rathmell JC, Deininger MW, Reya T, Kornbluth S. Engineering a BCR-ABL-activated caspase for the selective elimination of leukemic cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:2300-5. (view details on MedLine)

  • Kurokawa M, Kim J, Geradts J, Matsuura K, Liu L, Ran X, Xia W, Ribar TJ, Henao R, Dewhirst MW, Kim WJ, Lucas JE, Wang S, Spector NL, Kornbluth S. A network of substrates of the E3 ubiquitin ligases MDM2 and HUWE1 control apoptosis independently of p53. Sci Signal. 2013;6:ra32. (view details on MedLine)

  • McCoy F, Darbandi R, Lee HC, Bharatham K, Moldoveanu T, Grace CR, Dodd K, Lin W, Chen SI, Tangallapally RP, Kurokawa M, Lee RE, Shelat AA, Chen T, Green DR, Harris RA, Lin SH, Fissore RA, Colbran RJ, Nutt LK. Metabolic activation of CaMKII by coenzyme A. Mol Cell. 2013;52:325-39. (view details on MedLine)

  • Fernald K, Kurokawa M. Evading apoptosis in cancer. Trends Cell Biol. 2013;23:620-33. (view details on MedLine)