Microglia Research Unit

The Microglia Research Unit aims to provide innovative treatments for patients with serious, rapidly progressing and life-threatening neuroinflammatory diseases by advancing drug discovery research based on a deep understanding of microglial biology*.

We focus on the development of innovative therapeutics that selectively suppress specific neuroinflammatory pathways involved in a disease, without broadly suppressing the entire innate immune system.

*Please check here for the explanation of microglia. 

[Novel NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors] 


Shuichiro Kakimoto, Ph.D.

Unit Head

Shuichiro Kakimoto, Ph.D.

Kakimoto has worked as a researcher in many research programs in immunology, neuroinflammation, neuroscience, and the sensory area, and has been involved in the creation and in-license of multiple product candidates, which have delivered more than 7 IND compounds in total, including those eventually launched. He led many in-house research projects and multiple collaborative research programs with external partners. He assumed the present position in April 2019.


We aim to develop innovative therapeutic agents for diseases associated with innate immune dysfunction, particularly neuroimmune diseases for which no effective treatment is available. To accomplish this mission, we will further develop our drug discovery capabilities based on a deep understanding of microglial biology and strengthen our network of external partners. We believe that our approach to disease-specific innate immunity regulation will lead to new breakthroughs in the development of therapeutic agents for neuroinflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases.