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 immune system in the context of host-microbiota crosstalk during health and inflammatory conditions and has advanced our knowledge on how the skin functions as an immunological organ.

His laboratory has identified hair follicles as control towers of the skin immunity that support the tissue-residency and localization of dendritic cells, T cells, and innate lymphoid cells. In turn, the immune cells, such as the innate lymphoid cells, actively communicate with the hair follicles to regulate the commensal bacteria on the skin surface. Dr. Nagao’s laboratory has also generated a mouse model for atopic dermatitis and demonstrated Staphylococcus aureus to be a critical element during eczema formation.

In collaboration with investigators at the NIH Clinical Center, he conducts translational research on intractable inflammatory skin diseases, such as primary immunodeficiencies, to understand mechanisms that underlie host-microbial symbiosis directly in humans.

Scientific Publications

The Double-Stranded RNA Analog, Poly(I:C), Triggers Distinct Transcriptomic Shifts in Keratinocyte Subsets.

Sakamoto K, Nagao K
J Invest Dermatol.
2022 Oct;
doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2022.03.015
PMID: 35395221

Flow cytometry analysis of the subpopulations of mouse keratinocytes and skin immune cells.

Sakamoto K, Goel S, Funakoshi A, Honda T, Nagao K
STAR Protoc.
2022 Mar 18;
doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2021.101052
PMID: 34977690

Disruption of the endopeptidase ADAM10-Notch signaling axis leads to skin dysbiosis and innate lymphoid cell-mediated hair follicle destruction.

Sakamoto K, Jin SP, Goel S, Jo JH, Voisin B, Kim D, Nadella V, Liang H, Kobayashi T, Huang X, Deming C, Horiuchi K, Segre JA, Kong HH, Nagao K
2021 Oct 12;
doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2021.09.001
PMID: 34582748

Targeted therapy guided by single-cell transcriptomic analysis in drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome: a case report.

Kim D, Kobayashi T, Voisin B, Jo JH, Sakamoto K, Jin SP, Kelly M, Pasieka HB, Naff JL, Meyerle JH, Ikpeama ID, Fahle GA, Davis FP, Rosenzweig SD, Alejo JC, Pittaluga S, Kong HH, Freeman AF, Nagao K
Nat Med.
2020 Feb;
doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0733-7
PMID: 31959990

Cell-autonomous FLT3L shedding via ADAM10 mediates conventional dendritic cell development in mouse spleen.

Fujita K, Chakarov S, Kobayashi T, Sakamoto K, Voisin B, Duan K, Nakagawa T, Horiuchi K, Amagai M, Ginhoux F, Nagao K
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
2019 Jul 16;
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1818907116
PMID: 31262819

Choreographing Immunity in the Skin Epithelial Barrier.

Kobayashi T, Naik S, Nagao K
2019 Mar 19;
doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.02.023
PMID: 30893586

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

Kobayashi T, Voisin B, Kim DY, Kennedy EA, Jo JH, Shih HY, Truong A, Doebel T, Sakamoto K, Cui CY, Schlessinger D, Moro K, Nakae S, Horiuchi K, Zhu J, Leonard WJ, Kong HH, Nagao K
2019 Feb 21;
doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.12.031
PMID: 30712873

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
2018 Jan;
doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.12.022
PMID: 29307572

ADAM17-Deficient Mice Model the Transcriptional Signature of Human Atopic Dermatitis.

Woodring T, Kobayashi T, Kim D, Nagao K
J Invest Dermatol.
2018 Oct;
doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.04.021
PMID: 29751002

Langerhans Cells - The Macrophage in Dendritic Cell Clothing.

Doebel T, Voisin B, Nagao K
Trends Immunol.
2017 Nov;
doi: 10.1016/
PMID: 28720426

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
Nat Med.
2015 Nov;
doi: 10.1038/nm.3962
PMID: 26479922

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
2015 Apr 21;
doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.03.014
PMID: 25902485

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
Nat Immunol.
2012 Jun 24;
doi: 10.1038/ni.2353
PMID: 22729248


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 the 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. In 2020, he earned tenure and is currently Senior Investigator and Head of the Cutaneous Leukocyte Biology Laboratory.

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