Dr. Nagao is a board-certified Dermatologist (Japanese Association of Dermatology) and currently directs a research program that includes basic and pre-translational investigations on skin immunology and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Nagao is an attending physician on the NIH Clinical Center’s Dermatology Consultation Service.

Research Statement

Dr. Nagao studies the skin-leukocyte-microbiota cross-talks that govern immunological and structural homeostasis in the skin. Recent studies include the identification of hair follicles as immunological organs that support the homeostasis of dendritic cells and T cells via chemokine and cytokine production, respectively. His laboratory has also generated a mouse model for atopic dermatitis that spontaneously develop eczematous lesions and exhibit naturally occurring dysbiosis. Using this model, Staphylococcus aureus was demonstrated to be a critical element of eczema formation. By utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as single-cell RNA-sequencing, his research currently focuses on macrophages and innate lymphoid cells in the skin to deepen our understanding on the mechanisms that support their residency and functional polarity.

Scientific Publications

Homeostatic Control of Sebaceous Glands by Innate Lymphoid Cells Regulates Commensal Bacteria Equilibrium.

Kobayashi T, Voisin B, Kim DY, Kennedy E, Jo JH, Shih HY, Truong A, Sakamoto K, Doebel T, Cui CY, Schlessinger D, Moro K, Nakae S, Zhu J, Leonard WJ, Kong HH, Nagao K.

Langerhans Cells Prevent Autoimmunity via Expansion of Keratinocyte Antigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells.

Kitashima DY, Kobayashi T, Woodring T, Idouchi K, Doebel T, Voisin B, Adachi T, Ouchi T, Takahashi H, Nishifuji K, Kaplan DH, Clausen BE, Amagai M, Nagao K.

Hair follicle-derived IL-7 and IL-15 mediate skin-resident memory T cell homeostasis and lymphoma.

Adachi T, Kobayashi T, Sugihara E, Yamada T, Ikuta K, Pittaluga S, Saya H, Amagai M, Nagao K.

Dysbiosis and Staphylococcus aureus Colonization Drives Inflammation in Atopic Dermatitis.

Kobayashi T, Glatz M, Horiuchi K, Kawasaki H, Akiyama H, Kaplan DH, Kong HH, Amagai M, Nagao K.

Stress-induced production of chemokines by hair follicles regulates the trafficking of dendritic cells in skin.

Nagao K, Kobayashi T, Moro K, Ohyama M, Adachi T, Kitashima DY, Ueha S, Horiuchi K, Tanizaki H, Kabashima K, Kubo A, Cho YH, Clausen BE, Matsushima K, Suematsu M, Furtado GC, Lira SA, Farber JM, Udey MC, Amagai M.

Langerhans cell antigen capture through tight junctions confers preemptive immunity in experimental staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.

Ouchi T, Kubo A, Yokouchi M, Adachi T, Kobayashi T, Kitashima DY, Fujii H, Clausen BE, Koyasu S, Amagai M, Nagao K.


Dr. Nagao obtained his M.D. from Keio University School of Medicine in Japan in 1994 and his Ph.D. in Microbiology (medical mycology) from Keio University in 2005.


Dr. Nagao joined the Department of Dermatology at Keio University School of Medicine in 1994, where he completed his residency. He also rotated Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Keio University and Anesthesiology at Tokyo Dental Collage. He subsequently worked at two Keio-affiliated hospitals, each in Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Department of Dermatology. He then returned to Keio University and served as junior clinical faculty in the Department of Dermatology while conducting his Ph.D. program. During 2005-2008, Dr. Nagao conducted his postdoctoral research on skin dendritic cells in the lab of Dr. Mark Udey, M.D. in the Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH. In 2008, Dr. Nagao returned to Japan and initiated his independent research program at Keio University where he served as a faculty member for 6 years. Dr. Nagao re-joined Dermatology Branch as an Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in July of 2014. In 2017 Dr. Nagao and the Dermatology Branch transferred to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases where he is currently an Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator and Head of the Cutaneous Leukocyte Biology Section.

Last Updated: December 2019