Kenneth Yamada, MD, PhD
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Cell Biology Section
Building 30, Room 426
30 Convent Dr MSC 4370
Bethesda MD 20892-4370
Dr. Kenneth Yamada’s research focuses on discovering novel mechanisms and regulators of cell interactions with the extracellular matrix and their roles in craniofacial development and disease. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of these fundamental processes can provide new approaches to tissue regeneration and therapy for diseases such as cancer. Dr. Yamada’s group explores how coordination between the three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrix of connective tissue or basement membranes, integrins, signal transduction, and cytoskeleton mediates or regulates key biological processes – cell adhesion, migration, matrix remodeling, tissue morphogenesis, and cancer cell invasion. Dr. Yamada’s research emphasizes the characterization of the dynamic movements of cells and their extracellular matrix as tissues are remodeled in 3D in real time. The biological systems studied include human primary cells migrating in 3D, human tumor cells and tissues, and mouse organ development (salivary glands, lungs, and kidneys). Dr. Yamada also emphasizes training and mentoring the next generation of scientists.
Dr. Yamada received BA, MD, and PhD degrees from Stanford University. He was a section chief at the National Cancer Institute for 10 years and a section chief at NIDCR since 1990. Elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 1991, Dr. Yamada received the first Senior Investigator Award of the American Society for Matrix Biology in 2004, Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Association for Dental Research in 2008, and promotion to NIH distinguished investigator in 2011. Besides past service on the Councils of several professional societies, Dr. Yamada is currently an editor of The Journal of Cell Biology and serves other editorial roles at multiple journals. Dr. Yamada has published more than 400 highly cited papers. Dr. Yamada served on the NIH Cell Biology Study Section and currently serves on the NIH Committee on Scientific Conduct and Ethics, NIH Steering Committee Diversity Working Group, and various other NIH committees.
Wang S, Matsumoto K, Lish SR, Cartagena-Rivera AX, Yamada KM. Budding epithelial morphogenesis driven by cell-matrix versus cell-cell adhesion. Cell. 2021;184(14):3702-3716.e30.
Doyle AD, Sykora DJ, Pacheco GG, Kutys ML, Yamada KM. 3D mesenchymal cell migration is driven by anterior cellular contraction that generates an extracellular matrix prestrain. Dev Cell. 2021;56(6):826-841.e4.
Petrie RJ, Koo H, Yamada KM. Generation of compartmentalized pressure by a nuclear piston governs cell motility in a 3D matrix. Science. 2014;345(6200):1062-5.
Sakai T, Larsen M, Yamada KM. Fibronectin requirement in branching morphogenesis. Nature. 2003;423(6942):876-81.
Cukierman E, Pankov R, Stevens DR, Yamada KM. Taking cell-matrix adhesions to the third dimension. Science. 2001;294(5547):1708-12.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
This page was last updated on August 10th, 2021