Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D., graduated from the M.D./Ph.D. program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. Under the mentorship of Stanley Nathenson, M.D., she studied structure-function relationships of Class I Major Histocompatibiltiy Complex for her Ph.D. thesis.
She received her residency training in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She began her studies of cell-mediated immunity against human papillomavirus (HPV) in Anna-Barbara Moscicki’s laboratory at UCSF where she also became an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Blood Bank.
After joining the faculty at UAMS in 2004, Dr. Nakagawa continued her research pursuits in the area of HPV immunology and continued to provide patient care as an Attending Physician for the Transfusion Medicine service in the Department of Pathology.
In her research laboratory, her team discovered that patients naturally infected with HPV do better when they can mount T-lymphocyte responses against E6 protein, one of the cancer causing proteins made by HPV. This discovery lead to the design of a therapeutic vaccine for treating patients with cervical dysplasia or pre-cancer. A Phase I clinical trial which tested safety was performed between 2013 and 2015 supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and a Phase II clinical trial testing its efficacy is currently underway.
The pioneering work by Dr. Nakagawa’s research group has been presented at many national and international scientific meetings including at International Papillomavirus Conferences that took place at Barcelona, Spain, Beijing, China, Florinapolis, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, and Malmö, Sweden. Dr. Nakagawa was promoted to Associate Professor of Pathology with Tenure in 2007, and to Full Professor in 2014.
She has continuously received outside funding from numerous organizations such as the Cancer Research Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the amounts of which since arriving at UAMS are over seven and half million dollars.
Dr. Nakagawa serves on various NIH study sections including those evaluating applications under standard mechanisms such as R01s and R21s, as well as applications under other mechanisms such as Specialized Programs for Research Excellence, Human Immunology Project Consortium, and NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.
She also serves on numerous committees inside and outside of UAMS. Of note, she has been serving as a chair of the Mentoring Committee of the Women’s Faculty Developmental Caucus since 2013, and has been instrumental in initiation of programs such as Peer Mentoring for Professors and Networking Events as well as continuation with Monthly Faculty Development Seminars and One-on-One Mentoring for Junior Faculty. She became a co-leader for the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences which is one of the thematic research programs of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in 2015.