Noriko Sato, M.D., Ph.D.

Noriko Sato, M.D., Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Head, Laboratory of Cellular Therapeutics

Dr. Noriko Sato leads the Laboratory of Cellular Therapeutics in the Molecular Imaging Branch at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Sato received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University, Japan.  Her research interests are on  1) development and usage of imaging technologies to investigate behavior of cells in vivo,  2) understanding immune cell activation mechanisms, by combining imaging and non-imaging techniques, and  3) modification of tumor microenvironment to improve cancer therapies. She is currently working to bring a new ex vivo cell labeling method to the clinic for real time monitoring of cell-based therapies by PET imaging.

Areas of Expertise

1) molecular imaging, 2) cell tracking, 3) Tumor microenvironment

Contact Info

Noriko Sato, M.D., Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room B3B406
Bethesda, MD 20892-1002
Ph: 240-858-3079
Fax: 240-541-4527
saton@mail.nih.gov

The Laboratory of Cellular Therapeutics actively performs basic research in the Molecular Imaging Branch. Major focuses of research include:

1) Develop and use imaging technologies to investigate behavior of cells in vivo. We have pioneered a PET-based cell tracking method using a newly developed ex vivo cell labeling agent Zr-89 oxine. This technology enables highly sensitive, quantitative method of visualizing cell migration in vivo in real time. We examine cell trafficking in various condition or in response to various in vivo stimuli in mouse and non-human primate models.

2) Investigate immune cell activation/supression mechanisms, by combining imaging and non-imaging techniques.  T cells are not always fully activated in vivo upon encountering with nominal antigen. Our projects aim to understand how T cells are activated or suppressed in vivo, especially in tumor microenvironment.

3) Modification of tumor microenvironment to improve cancer therapies. With a focus on activating anti-tumor immunity, we investigate methods to modify tumor microenvironment that leads to therapeutic improvement.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Immunology

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Development of an IL-15-autocrine CD8 T-cell leukemia in IL-15-transgenic mice requires the cis expression of IL-15Ralpha.
    Sato N, Sabzevari H, Fu S, Ju W, Petrus MN, Bamford RN, Waldmann TA, Tagaya Y
    Blood. 117: 4032-4040, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
  2. (89)Zr-Oxine Complex PET Cell Imaging in Monitoring Cell-based Therapies.
    Sato N, Wu H, Asiedu KO, Szajek LP, Griffiths GL, Choyke PL
    Radiology. 275 (2): 490-500, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Spatially selective depletion of tumor-associated regulatory T cells with near-infrared photoimmunotherapy..
    Sato K, Sato N, Xu B, Nakamura Y, Nagaya T, Choyke PL, Hasegawa Y, Kobayashi H
    Sci Transl Med. 8(352): 352ra110, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  4. CD4 effector T cell differentiation is controlled by IL-15 that is expressed and presented in trans. .
    Waickman AT, Ligons DL, Hwang S, Park JY, Lazarevic V, Sato N, Hong C, Park JH
    Cytokine. 99: 266-274, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Bone marrow cell trafficking analyzed by 89Zr-oxine positron emission tomography in a murine transplantation model. .
    Kingsley O. Asiedu, Sho Koyasu, Lawrence P. Szajek, Peter L. Choyke and Noriko Sato
    Clin Cancer Res. 23(11): 2759-2768, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Noriko Sato leads the Laboratory of Cellular Therapeutics in the Molecular Imaging Branch at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Sato received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University, Japan.  Her research interest is on the 1) development and use of imaging technologies to better understand immune cell activation,  2) modification of tumor microenvironment, and  3) exploring methods to improve cancer therapies. She is currently working to bring a new ex vivo cell labeling method to the clinic for real time monitoring of cell-based therapies by PET imaging.