Sugahara Lab

Kazuki N. Sugahara, MD, PhDPI: Kazuki N Sugahara, MD, PhD


P&S Building – 630 W. 168th Street, 17-501
New York, NY 10032


Dr. Sugahara develops tumor-specific drug delivery systems using peptides and nanomaterials. The goal is to accomplish tumor-specific drug delivery to obtain maximal anti-cancer effects with minimal side effects.

Dr. Sugahara and colleagues have discovered a novel class of peptides, tumor-penetrating peptides. The peptides target tumor blood vessels through systemic circulation and penetrate into the extravascular tumor tissue. Drugs chemically attached to the peptides widely distribute selectively into the tumor tissue providing enhanced anti-tumor effects in a tumor-specific fashion. Of note, the peptides also achieve tumor-specific delivery of free drugs co-administered with the peptides providing a simple and effective way to improve the therapeutic index of various forms of anti-neoplastic agents, right out the cabinet without any chemical modification. iRGD, the flagship tumor-penetrating peptide, is now in Phase I clinical trial as a co-injected enhancer of systemic combination chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer (NCT03517176). Dr. Sugahara has also discovered a panel of peptides that target different components in the tumor tissue using advanced phage display methodologies. These peptides are also being biochemically characterized to be incorporated in drug delivery scaffolds.

Dr. Sugahara continues to study the biological significance of the peptides he has discovered to control visceral metastasis of various cancer types, design novel anti-neoplastic agents, and develop tumor-penetrating nanoprobes for accurate cancer diagnosis. He also uses them for intraperitoneal compound delivery to improve the management of peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Lab Members

  • Norio Miyamura, PhD – Associate Research Scientist
  • Tatiana Hurtado de Mendoza, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher (California branch)
  • Yoko Odagiri – Technician Assistant