Tsuneya Ikezu

Professor, Departments of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Neurology


Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu completed his undergraduate education at University of Tokyo School of Science and Arts, Japan. He earned his M. D. in 1991 and Ph.D. degrees from University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 1997. He joined the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology in 2010 as a Professor. Dr. Ikezu also leads the Laboratory of Molecular Neurotherapeutics. He joined the BU ADC in March 2011.

Research Interests

The Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics mainly focuses on neuroimmune cell-mediated regulations of neuronal function, neurogenesis, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. In particular, we are interested in how the innate immune-related molecules in the central nervous system (CNS) influences the pathology and progression of select neurodegenerative disorders e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, frontotemporal dementia and autism spectrum disorders.

The current studies include pharmacological means to suppress the propagation of tau protein mouse models. We have created adeno-associated virus-mediated expression of tau protein, which shows spread from neurons to neurons in microglia and exosome synthesis-dependent manner (Asai H, et al Nat Neurosci 2015). AV summary.

A second focus of our lab is the investigation of inflammation-related autism spectrum disorders. Maternal immune activation refers to the systemic infection during the first or second trimester of pregnancy. This is a major risk of autism spectrum disorders. We hypothesize that maternal immune activation develops chronic alternation in microglial homeostatic function, which results in neurodevelopmental abnormality and autism-like phenotypes in animal models (Ikezu S, et al Mol Psychiatry).

We use multiple biological reagents and techniques for our studies: tissue culture of neurons, neural stem cells and microglia, custom AAV vectors, stereotaxic intracranial injection, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, electrophysiology and animal behavior.

ADC Role
Dr. Ikezu facilitates basic and translational research on neuroinflammation-related neurodegenerative disorders for BU ADC.

Dr. Ikezu is a past recipient of the Vada Oldfield Alzheimer’s Research Award in 2000, the UNMC Distinguished Scientist Award in 2009, and the UNeMed Research Innovation Award in 2009. He serves on several editorial boards, including PLoS One.

For a full list of publications please click here.

Profile Types

View all profiles