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Kenji Maeda, M.D., Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Kenji Maeda
HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch
Experimental Retrovirology Section
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 5A11
Bethesda, MD 20814


Dr. Maeda obtained his M.D. degree from Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan in 1995. He trained in internal medicine, hematology, and infectious diseases and then worked as a staff physician. Dr. Maeda earned his Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Kumamoto in 2003, where he learned basic techniques for cell biology and virology. In 2005, Dr. Maeda joined the HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch (HAMB) of NCI as a Visiting Fellow and became a Staff Scientist in 2013.


Dr. Maeda has been working for 15 years in the HIV drug discovery field and one of such area is the development of HIV entry inhibitors. Dr. Maeda had discovered multiple novel CCR5 inhibitors that inhibit HIV entry as potential anti-HIV therapeutics. Among them, aplaviroc (APL) exerted potent activity against a wide spectrum of laboratory and primary R5-HIV isolates including multi-drug resistant HIVMDR. Aplaviroc significantly reduced viremia in patients with HIV infection as examined in a phase 2a clinical trial in the United States. Dr. Maeda also focused on the characterization of structural and molecular interactions of CCR5 inhibitors with CCR5 and clarified detailed interactions of CCR5 inhibitors with CCR5 and demonstrated possible mechanism(s) of HIV inhibition by CCR5 inhibitors.

Dr. Maeda has been expanding his research field in an attempt to design more potent and safer CCR5 inhibitors and CXCR4 inhibitors, another chemokine receptor inhibitors active against HIV infection, in collaboration with a computational scientist in the lab (Dr. Debanada Das) and Professor Arun K. Ghosh of Purdue University.

Dr. Maeda has also been involved in the effort to develop novel reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors as potential therapeutics for HIV infection. Dr. Maeda is currently working on projects, in which he is determining precise mechanisms of drug resistance against novel reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor including 4'-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyadenosine or EFdA, which is a novel promising RT inhibitor.

As for the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI/NtRTIs) such as EFdA, it is of a great interest in their ability to inhibit HBV besides HIV. One of Dr. Maeda's recent project is to identify anti-HIV and anti-HBV activity of various NRTI/NtRTIs in vitro and to analyze the relationship between their activity profiles and their structures so that we get a structural insight into the mechanism by which each NRTI/NtRTIs has unique anti-HBV- and anti-HIV- profile. Such finding could help develop the new agents active against both HIV and HBV.

This page was last updated on 4/4/2014.