Human Genetics Research Unit

The Human Genetics Research Unit aims to develop potential causal treatments by the fastest path for patients without treatment options as we leverage disease causal gene mutations to select drug targets by focusing on human genetics-based research activities. In addition, we will improve pharma R&D process by 1) improving the probability of success of our clinical trials and 2) deprioritizing animal studies that do not reproduce the human disease condition.

We identify drug discovery targets by analyzing potential causal genes and relevant pathways, and screen drug candidates by maximizing analytical outcome. We select drug discovery targets by considering genetic causality and linkage with diseases, their fit with Astellas’ strategy, and relevance to biology of our interest. 

Please check here for the explanation of human genetics. 


Masato Kishida, Ph.D and MBA

Unit Head

Masato Kishida, Ph.D and MBA

Kishida brings both business and scientific capabilities through his long career. Before Astellas, he worked as an oncology researcher, an equity analyst, and an entrepreneur who engaged in the launch of a start-up. After joining Astellas, he had been working in Business Development. Kishida was General Manager of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, the company Astellas acquired in 2016. He assumed his current role in June 2020.


We explore unknown genetic evidence that may lead to novel pathophysiological hypotheses in collaboration with various partners. By leveraging our experiences and technologies, including the patient cell-derived miniaturized organ models (organioids) and patient stratification methodologies based on the genetic data, we would like to lead human genetics applications in drug discovery.