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.
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 eight years. His expertise was in the study and treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy. During his postdoctoral training, Inoki identified signaling pathways explaining the mechanism for how growth factors and glucose activate mTOR.
In 2008, Inoki was recruited as a Biomedical Sciences Scholar. He is currently a research associate professor at the Life Sciences Institute and an associate professor in the departments of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and Internal Medicine at the U-M Medical School. His research interests include both physiological and pathological roles of TSC-mTOR signaling in human health and their implication in diabetes, aging and cancer.