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Douglas N. Ishii

Douglas N. Ishii

Colorado State University


Mr. Douglas Ishii is currently employed at Aurogen Incorporated in the position of Founder, Board Member, and Chief Executive Officer. He was Assoc. Prof, Pharmacology at College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia Univ., New York City. He is Professor of Physiology as well as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Colorado State Univ., Colorado. Dr. Ishii has served on many scientific advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International. He did his B.A. in biochemistry from University of Calif. Berkeley. Then he completed his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Stanford University Sch. Medicine, and a postdoctoral in neurobiology from Stanford University Sch. Medicine. He is recipient of research scientist of the Year by CSURF in 2001 and a National Research Career Development Award.

Research Interest

Douglas Ishii interested in the neurobiology of the neurotrophic insulin-like growth factor (IGF) hormones, as well as their capacity to treat various neurological diseases and disorders. This laboratory discovered that IGFs are circulating neurotrophic factors. The highest levels of IGF-II gene expression are in brain, spinal cord, and nerves, and its expression in perinatal muscle correlates closely with synaptogenesis in rats. Neurite (axon or dendrite) outgrowth and the survival of neurons in culture are supported by IGFs. Following nerve crush, infusion of IGFs increase, whereas anti-IGF antibodies decrease the rate of sciatic nerve regeneration in rats. IGF-I mRNAs are increased all along the nerve distal to crush, whereas IGF-II mRNAs are increased mostly at the end of nerves and in denervated muscle. Disconnection of nerves from muscle results in motoneuron death in neonatal rats. Such motoneuron death is prevented by IGF-II, whereas exacerbated by anti-IGF antibodies. Others have shown that transgenic mice over-expressing IGF-I have brains 55% larger than normal.