Engineered Phage Therapy Research Unit

About Us

The Engineered Phage Therapy Research Unit was established in 2020. Our mission is to change the current landscape of antimicrobial approaches and improve outcomes for patients with serious infectious diseases by employing game-changing engineered bacteriophage therapy technologies. To achieve this goal, Dr. Ando has joined our team and is currently leading the Phage Biologics Research Course established in Gifu University. We will continue to expand our networks and develop the treatment of refractory bacterial infections and microbiome*-associated diseases through external cutting-edge technologies.
*Microbiome: The entire collection of microorganisms and their genomic elements in a particular environment including in or on the human body.

Our Approach

By utilizing the capabilities of the Phage Biologics Research Course at Gifu University and the platform technology in Astellas, we aim to create multiple programs for original engineered phage therapy with higher efficacy and safety.

engineered phage therapy with higher efficacy and safety



Hideaki Matsuoka, Ph.D

Unit Head

Hideaki Matsuoka, Ph.D.

Dr. Matsuoka worked as a research scientist in the fields of immunology, cell biology, and molecular biology and later moved to the venture management and scouting division in the United States. During his time in this position, he built business networks and engaged with innovator communities in the US and Japan. He assumed the Executive Director role in Modality Management in 2019. He has been in his present position since April 2020.


Hiroki Ando, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator* of Astellas

(Project Associate Professor, Gifu University)
Hiroki Ando, Ph.D.
* Principal Investigator (PI): One of the research professions at Astellas

Dr. Ando is an expert in synthetic biology and has been working to develop the next generation phage therapy technology. After graduating from the doctoral course at Osaka University, he studied novel drug resistance mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a Senior Researcher in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine. He then studied phage engineering platform and synthetic phages as a Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2017, he became an Assistant Professor of the Graduate School of Medicine at Gifu University. In March 2020, he joined Astellas as a Principal Investigator.



Shoichi Mitsunaka, Kohei Yamazaki, Ajeng K. Pramono, Megumi Ikeuchi, Tomoe Kitao, Naoya Ohara, Tomoko Kubori, Hiroki Nagai, Hiroki Ando
Synthetic engineering and biological containment of bacteriophages
PNAS 2022 Nov 21; 119(48):e2206739119. doi. 10.1073/pnas.2206739119

Ando H, Lemire S, Pires DP, Lu TK.
Engineering Modular Viral Scaffolds for Targeted Bacterial Population Editing.
Cell Syst. 2015 Sep 23;1(3):187-196. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.08.013.

Press Releases

Gifu University and Astellas establish a Research Course on Phage Biologics aimed at creating new treatments for bacterial infections