Yosuke Kunishita, M.D., Ph.D., was awarded his medical degree in March 2011 from Asahikawa Medical University, Asahikawa, Japan. He started working as an adult rheumatologist at Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan in 2013. During his clinical work, Dr. Kunishita learned that the causes and pathophysiology of many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases still need to be established. His desire to understand more about immunology led him to graduate school in 2015. 

In graduate school, Dr. Kunishita researched the dysfunction of TRIM21 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using mouse models and human specimens. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Science from Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan in 2020. Before coming to the NIH, he conducted several research studies using clinical data, human specimens, and cell lines, focusing on rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, and VEXAS syndrome. 

In 2023, he came to the NIH as a postdoctoral visiting fellow to work with Dr. Daniel L. Kastner in the Inflammatory Disease Section, NHGRI, NIH, and Dr. Pravitt Gourh in the Scleroderma Genomics and Health Disparities Unit, NIAMS, NIH.

Research Statement

The goal of Dr. Kunishita's research project aims to search for novel pathogenic germline and somatic mutations in adult-onset inflammatory disease to elucidate the pathogenesis, search for therapeutic targets, and develop therapies.

Scientific Publications

Efficacy and safety of abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with previous malignancy.

Kunishita Y, Ichikawa K, Uzawa Y, Mitsuhashi M, Yoshioka Y, Okubo T, Nagaoka S
Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis.
doi: 10.1177/1759720X231186874
PMID: 37539016

Case Report: Tocilizumab Treatment for VEXAS Syndrome With Relapsing Polychondritis: A Single-Center, 1-Year Longitudinal Observational Study In Japan.

Kunishita Y, Kirino Y, Tsuchida N, Maeda A, Sato Y, Takase-Minegishi K, Yoshimi R, Nakajima H
Front Immunol.
doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.901063
PMID: 35769485

Anti-TRIM21 antibody is associated with aberrant B-cell function and type I interferon production in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Kunishita Y, Yoshimi R, Kamiyama R, Kishimoto D, Komiya T, Sakurai N, Sugiyama Y, Takase-Minegishi K, Kirino Y, Nagaoka S, Nakajima H
2021 Nov;
doi: 10.1177/09612033211042293
PMID: 34565210

Pathogenic UBA1 variants associated with VEXAS syndrome in Japanese patients with relapsing polychondritis.

Tsuchida N, Kunishita Y, Uchiyama Y, Kirino Y, Enaka M, Yamaguchi Y, Taguri M, Yamanaka S, Takase-Minegishi K, Yoshimi R, Fujii S, Nakajima H, Matsumoto N
Ann Rheum Dis.
2021 Aug;
doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2021-220089
PMID: 33789873

TRIM21 Dysfunction Enhances Aberrant B-Cell Differentiation in Autoimmune Pathogenesis.

Kunishita Y, Yoshimi R, Kamiyama R, Kishimoto D, Yoshida K, Hashimoto E, Komiya T, Sakurai N, Sugiyama Y, Kirino Y, Ozato K, Nakajima H
Front Immunol.
doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00098
PMID: 32117252

Non-IgG4-related Multifocal Fibrosclerosis.

Kunishita Y, Yoshimi R, Takeno M, Yamanaka S, Sugiyama Y, Tsuchida N, Kishimoto D, Kamiyama R, Minegishi K, Hama M, Kirino Y, Ishigatsubo Y, Ueda A, Nakajima H
Intern Med.
doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.55.6297
PMID: 27580557


Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan 
Ph.D. in Medical Science (2015-2020)

Asahikawa Medical University, Asahikawa, Japan 
M.D. (2005-2011) 



Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow 
Inflammatory Disease Section, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health (August 2023-present) 

Visiting Researcher 
Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan (April 2020-present) 

Chief Physician 
Department of Rheumatology, Yokohama Minami Kyosai Hospital, Yokohama, Japan (April 2020-July 2023)

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