Kazu Nakazawa, M.D., Ph.D.
Fellow, Neuroscience Department
Kazutoshi (Kazu) Nakazawa, M.D., Ph.D., is a fellow in the Neuroscience Department within the Drug Discovery Division, where he leads a lab that seeks to to understand the basic biology of mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. In particular, he is interested in determining the roles of cortical GABAergic inhibitory interneurons in the pathophysiology of schizophrenic symptoms, positive or psychotic symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive dysfunction. His research group recently suggested that early postnatal hypofunction of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors in the cortical and hippocampal GABA neurons is crucial for the pathogenesis of schizophrenia-like phenotypes in mice. The Nakazawa lab relies on a multidisciplinary approach, using the techniques of mouse genetics, immunocytochemistry, slice physiology, in vivo microdialysis, in vivo awake recording, and mouse behavioral analyses.
Nakazawa received his M.D. in 1987 and his Ph.D. in 1991 in biochemistry and molecular biology, both at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. In 1991 he began his post-doctoral training in the Laboratory for Neural Networks, Frontier Research Programs at the RIKEN Institute, Wako, Japan. In 1995, he continued postdoctoral training at the Center for Learning and Memory at Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) where he advanced to Research Associate in 2000. In 2003, he began his independent laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, MD, where his unit generated cell-type specific Cre recombinase transgenic mice to model the schizophrenia-related phenotypes. He moved to Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as Associate Professor in 2013, where he continued preclinical research on mental disorders until joining Southern Research in 2018. Nakazawa is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Neurobiology Department at UAB, and his research group is comprised of senior scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate trainees who are affiliated with UAB. Nakazawa is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, representing a lifetime h-index of 30 and over 4,700 citations, based on the Google Scholar database. NCBI, Google Scholar