Ken Inoki

Ken Inoki researches mechanisms that regulate cellular growth, in particular signal transduction pathways coordinating and mediating protein translation. Disregulation of this pathway, called the mTOR signaling pathway, is involved in development of human diseases like cancer and diabetes. By using biochemical and genetic approaches, Inoki is investigating the function and regulation of mTOR in hopes to elucidate its role in the development and progression of human diseases.

Dr. Inoki received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan and worked as a physician in the Department of Nephrology at University Hospital for 8 years. His expertise was in the study and treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy. In 2001, he joined Kun-Liang Guan’s lab at University of Michigan as a post-doctoral fellow to learn basic science. In describing his experience, Dr. Inoki jokes, “I worked with him 7 days a week, and I learned from him intuition and perspective for basic science; however, I almost lost my family in the process.” During his post-doctoral training, Dr. Inoki identified signaling pathways explaining the mechanism for how growth factors and glucose activate mTOR.

In 2008, Dr. Inoki was recruited as a Biomedical Sciences Scholar. He is currently a research assistant professor at the Life Sciences Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. His research interests include both physiological and pathological roles of TSC-mTOR signaling in human health and their implication in diabetes, aging and cancer.


  • Research Associate Professor and BSSP Scholar, Life Sciences Institute
  • Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School
  • Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan


  • BS/MD, Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science - Shiga, Japan, 1991
  • PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Shiga University of Medical Science - Shiga, Japan, 1998

Honors and Awards

  • 2004: Koikai Award for Excellence in Basic Science