• Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image

Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD; 

Yoshihiro Miwa Associate Chair and Founding Director

Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS)
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

cics group photo2

Primary Research:

In 2009, CICS was launched at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in collaboration with Kowa Company Ltd, a Japanese corporation. The mission of CICS is to speed translation of basic research discoveries into clinical practice through the exploration of novel theraputic targets for atherosclerotic vascular diseases and metabolic disorders, leading to the development of new drugs. CICS has established a new model for academia-industry collaboration with half of the participants from BWH and the other half from Kowa, all working together in a shared space. An excellent environment has been created in which post-docs and technicians early in their careers can obtain experience in both academic and company pharmaceutical science.

Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD, a vascular biologist from the Cardiovascular Division and Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, directs CICS and also leads a research group on macrophage biology and lipid metabolism. Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD from the BWH Cardiovascular Division is an established cardiovascular pathologist and leads a vascular biology program, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are the basis of arterial and valvular calcification. Ken Mizuno, PhD, a scientist from the Kowa Company, has extensive knowledge and expertise on drug development and leads the diabetes research group. Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, MD, a surgeon with an extensive background in microsurgery, develops new animal model microsurgeries and oversees all in vivo experiments for CICS. Sasha Singh, PhD, has established a state-of-the art laboratory for proteomics and bioinformatics within CICS and works closely with all investigators. Jiro Matsumoto, PhD, a senior research scientist from Kowa, and William Terry, MD, a former Senior Vice President of BWH, lead our research administration. Peter Libby, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular Division at BWH and a world-renowned cardiologist and vascular biologist, is Senior Advisor and one of the key collaborators.

CICS occupies 24,000-sq.ft. of first-rate laboratory and office space on the 17th floor of the Center for Life Science in the Longwood Medical Area, the heart of Boston's research community. We are a cross-disciplinary research team consisting of academic and company investigators with knowledge and expertise in cardiology, vascular biology, immunology, lipid metabolism, diabetes research, chemistry, bioinformatics, and bioengineering. We aggressively use a wide array of molecular and cell biology technologies and devices, innovative animal models, molecular imaging, epigenetics, and mass spectrometry-based proteomics and systems pharmacology.

We currently have a few open post-doc positions. We seek enthusiastic candidates with excellent experimental and interpersonal skills. If you are interested, please send your CV, an outline of your research interests, and names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to Dr. William Terry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit the lab's web site:

Lab Members:
Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD: Director, Vascular Biology Program
Ken Mizuno, PhD: Director, Diabetes Research Program
Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, MD: Director, Preclinical Research
Sasha Singh, PhD: Director, Proteomics Research
Jiro Matsumoto, PhD: Director, Research Administration
William Terry, MD: Director, BWH/HMS Liaison

Number of trainees in the laboratory:
Junior Research Scientists: 25
Support Staff: 7

Recent Publications:
New SEP, Aikawa E. Molecular imaging insights into early inflammatory stages of arterial and aortic valve calcification. Circ. Res. 2011;108:1381-1391

New SEP, Aikawa E. Cardiovascular calcification: an inflammatory disease. Circ J. 2011;75:1305-1313.

Aikawa E, New SEP, Miyazaki T, Fukuda D, Aikawa M. Molecular imaging of macrophages in atherosclerosis. Curr Cardiovasc Imaging Rep 2012;5:45-52

Zheng C, Aikawa M. High-density lipoproteins: from function to therapy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012 60:2380-2383

Zheng C, Azcutia V, Aikawa E, Figueiredo JL, Sonoki H, Luscinskas FW, Sacks FM, Aikawa M. Statins suppress apolipoprotein CIII-induced endothelial cell activation and monocyte adhesion. Eur Heart J 2013;34:615-624

Iwata H, Aikawa M. Liver-artery interactions via the plasminogen-CD36 axis in macrophage foam cell formation: new evidence for the role of remote organ crosstalk in atherogenesis. Circulation 2013;127:1173-1176

Goettsch C, Hutcheson JD, Aikawa E. MicroRNA in Cardiovascular Calcification: Focus on Targets and Extracellular Vesicle Delivery Mechanisms. Circ Res 2013;112:1073-1084

New SEP, Goettsch C, Aikawa M, Marchini JF, Shibasaki M, Yabusaki K, Libby P, Shanahan CM, Croce K, Aikawa E. Macrophage-derived matrix vesicles: an alternative novel mechanism for microcalcification in atherosclerotic plaques. Circ Res 2013 (in press)

Zheng C, Morishige K. Aikawa M. Functional molecular imaging linking macrophages to reverse cholesterol transport. Circ J 2013 (in press)

Wang J, Aikawa E, Aikawa M. Leukocyte-derived microparticles as pro-inflammatory mediators in atherosclerosis. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013 (in press)

Recent Presentations:

Year 2010
Chunyu Zheng, Elena Aikawa, Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, Veronica Azcutia, Hiroyuki Sonoki, Francis W. Luscinskas, Frank M. Sacks, and Masanori Aikawa
Pitavastatin Suppresses Apolipoprotein CIII Induced Endothelial Cell Activation and Monocyte Adhesion.
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2010, Chicago.

Year 2011
New SEP, Marchini JF, Aikawa M, Shanahan CM, Croce K, Aikawa E.
Novel Role of Macrophage-derived Matrix Vesicles in Arterial Microcalcification
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2011, Orlando

Year 2012
New SEP, Marchini JF, Aikawa M, Shanahan CM, Croce K, Aikawa E.
Calcifying Matrix Vesicles Released from Macrophages.
International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) 2012, Sweden

NEW SEP, Goettsch C, Aikawa M, Marchini JF, Shanahan CM, Croce K, Aikawa E.
Inflammation-dependent Mechanism of Calcification: A New Role for Macrophage Matrix Vesicles.
Biennial Meeting of International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB) 2012, London

Shibasaki M, Figueiredo JL, New SEP, Quillard T, Goettsch C, Libby P, Sonoki H, Matsumoto J, Aikawa M, Aikawa E.
Pitavastatin reduces inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques in hyperlipidemic mice with chronic renal disease
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2012, Los Angeles

Miyosawa K, Watanabe Y, Murakami T, Desai D, Matsumoto J, Tanabe S, Aikawa M.
A novel CETP inhibitor, K-312, suppresses PCSK9 expression through the modulation of its promoter activity
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2012, Los Angeles

NEW SEP, Goettsch C, Aikawa M, Marchini JF, Shibasaki M, Yabusaki K, Libby P, Shanahan C, Croce K, Aikawa E.
Newly Identified Pro-inflammatory Mechanism of Calcification via Formation of a S100A9-Annexin5 Membrane Complex
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2012, Los Angeles

Goettsch C, Singh S, Shibasaki M, Libby P, Aikawa M, Aikawa E.
Sortilin 1 is a novel regulator of vascular calcification via phosphate-dependent mechanisms
American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2012, Los Angeles