Meet Research Grant Recipient: Hiroki Uchikawa, MD, PhD

Hiroki Uchikawa is the recipient of the Marc Marotta and Christopher C. Getch Chair of Research for $40,000.

BAF: Please tell us your background, where you are from, schooling, etc.

HU: I grew up in Japan and obtained my MD degree from Kumamoto University School of Medicine. I also hold a PhD from Kumamoto University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Throughout my academic journey, I have been dedicated to researching the basic research and hemodynamic analysis of intracranial aneurysms. In 2022, I came to the United States to embark on research to further explore intracranial aneurysms, and currently, I am conducting research at the Barrow Neurological Institute.

BAF: What led you to become involved with brain aneurysm research?

HU: My interest in becoming a neurosurgeon was sparked by the loss of my grandfather to an intracranial aneurysm. While working as a neurosurgeon, I realized the need for prophylactic medicine to prevent the rupture of intracranial aneurysms.

BAF: In the simplest terms, what is the purpose of your project?

HU: The purpose of my project is to establish a causal relationship between CHIP and the rupture of intracranial aneurysms, with the aim of developing prophylactic treatments.

BAF: In the simplest terms, what do you hope will change through your research findings?

HU: Through my research findings, I hope to bring about a change by establishing CHIP as a recognized risk factor for the rupture of intracranial aneurysms, which will pave the way for further clinical research.

BAF: Why is the funding you are receiving through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation so important?

HU: The funding I am receiving through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation is crucial for several reasons. Our research involves the use of chimeric mice, requiring a significant number of mice for donor and recipient purposes. Additionally, flow cytometry in this research necessitates numerous antibodies and experiments to detect CHIP in mice. Furthermore, after validating our hypothesis, a clinical study will be needed, preferably conducted multicentrally. By connecting with other researchers in the field through this brain aneurysm-specific foundation, we can establish collaborations and gain exposure for our research, thereby facilitating future studies.

Pictured above is Hiroki Uchikawa’s research poster, “Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential in Intracranial Aneurysms