Joji Ando
Dokkyo Medical University, Japan

Joji Ando was born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1948. He received his M.D. in 1973 and earned Ph.D in Internal Medicine in 1981 from Hokkaido University. He was a medical staff in the Department of Internal Medicine from 1973-1975 and in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine from 1975 to 1983 in Hokkaido University Hospital. From 1983 to 1991, he worked for the Institute of Electronic Science in Hokkaido University as an assistant professor. From 1987 to 1988, he studied abroad as a research fellow in Dr. E. Levine’s laboratory, The Wistar Institute, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. In 1991, he moved to the Department of Cardiovascular Biomechanics as visiting associate professor in the University of Tokyo. From 1997 to 1999, he was an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, and from 1999 to 2009, he was the professor of the same department. He is currently a professor at Dokkyo Medical University’s Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering.

His research has focused on the role of hemodynamic forces such as shear stress generated by blood flow in the regulation of vascular functions and in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases including atherosclerosis. He has been studying the molecular mechanism by which vascular endothelial cells lining the inner surface of blood vessels sense shear stress and transduce blood flow information into their functional responses. His recent studies showed that endothelial cells release ATP in response to shear stress, which results in a Ca2+ influx and increased Ca2+-induced signal transduction. Moreover, he identified specific ion channels (P2X4 purinoceptors) responsible for shear-stress-induced Ca2+ influx, and his P2X4-deficient mice revealed that the shear-stress-sensing mechanism plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis of cardiovascular functions in vivo, such as in the control of blood pressure, blood flow-induced vasodilation, and blood flow-mediated vascular remodeling. As a result of these important findings, his data was published in Nature Medicine (2006).

He has been contributing to both education and development of biomedical engineering through lectures and his work with students, and by serving as the vice president of the Japanese Society of Medical and Biological Engineering as well as being the Editor in Chief of its official journal. He is or was a trustee of several professional societies, including Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering, Japanese Society of Biorheology, Japanese College of Angiology, and Japanese Society for Microcirculation.