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Photo of Fukuchi, Ken-ichiro

Ken-ichiro Fukuchi, MD, PhD


Cancer Biology and Pharmacology



One Illini Drive Peoria, IL 61605

Office Phone:


Alzheimer’s Disease: Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapy Heading link

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and currently afflicts 6.7 million Americans. However, no satisfactory treatment is available. In Dr. Fukuchi’s laboratory, the pathogenesis of AD is investigated and innovative preventive and therapeutic measures against AD are being developed. Dr. Fukuchi’s lab is the first to demonstrate that toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling modulates cerebral beta-amyloidosis and neuroinflammation by creating TLR signaling molecule knockout and TLR4 mutant AD mouse models. His lab optimized therapeutic antibody delivery in the brain of an AD mouse model by testing a battery of adeno-associated virus serotypes for gene therapy. These research projects are funded by National Institute of Health and advancing our understanding of immune cell-mediated pathobiology of AD, which are indispensable for developing effective prevention and treatment.

Ken-ichiro Fukuchi, M.D., Ph.D., joined the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology in 2005. He is a neuroscientist, molecular biologist and trained as a geriatrician. He has made many significant contributions and advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of AD, and he is a pioneer in immunogene therapy and innate immunity in AD. His research accomplishment in AD led to the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, which is given to investigators who contributed significantly to AD research.


Positions Held

  • 2010-Present – Professor, Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL
  • 2005-2010 – Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL
  • -2005 – Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
  • 1995-2002 – Associate Professor, Department of Genomics and Pathobiology (former Comparative Medicine) University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • 1991-1995 – Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 1986-1991 – Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Departments of Pathology and Medicine (Medical Genetics), University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 1981-1986 – Research Associate, Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
  • 1980-1981 – Intern at Osaka National Hospital, Osaka, Japan
  • 1979-1980 – Intern at Department of Medicine and Geriatrics Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

Grants and Contract Support

NIH R01AG069447 “Role of MyD88 signaling in systemic inflammation and Alzheimer disease” P.I. Ken-ichiro Fukuchi, 08/01/2021-04/30/26 Total Costs $2,437,487


I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying aging and age-associated diseases and in developing new preventive and therapeutic measures against such diseases.

For over 35 years, my lab has worked in the field of neuroscience and aging, with particular emphasis on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and development of novel therapeutic measures for AD as well as on cell and molecular biology of progeroid syndromes such as Werner’s syndrome and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. In these investigations, my lab has been taking interdisciplinary approaches to accomplish our research goals using molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, transgenic/ES-cell gene targeting, gene therapy, bioinformatics, immunohistochemistry, histopathology and behavioral neuroscience. Particularly, my lab has focused on immunological aspects of AD pathogenesis and immunotherapy in the past 25 years.


1985 – Osaka University Medical School, Ph.D.
1979 – Graduated from Osaka University Medical School, M.D.