Masaoki Kawasumi
Assistant Professor
Division of Dermatology
Principal Investigator, Kawasumi Lab

Faculty Information


Dr. Masaoki Kawasumi is a photobiology and skin cancer researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle.  During medical school, Masaoki had the opportunity to work with Masafumi Nishizawa, PhD (Microbiology, Keio University), elucidating the regulation of cell cycle progression in yeast.  After graduating from Keio University School of Medicine, Dr. Kawasumi received PhD training in the neuroscience field (Dissertation Adviser: Ikuo Nishimoto, MD, PhD, Pharmacology, Keio University). He generated a knock-in mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease that recapitulated memory deficits analogous to those in humans. 

In 2004, Dr. Kawasumi joined Dr. Nghiem’s laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2006, Dr. Kawasumi moved from Boston to Seattle when Dr. Nghiem moved his laboratory to the University of Washington. Since then, Dr. Kawasumi has been conducting research in skin cancer biology, particularly addressing how cells respond to UV damage and how the DNA damage response can be harnessed to prevent UV-associated skin cancers, the most prevalent cancers in the U.S.  After completing postdoctoral work with Paul Nghiem, Dr. Kawasumi launched a research laboratory in 2016 at the University of Washington Dermatology.

The Kawasumi Lab focuses on elucidating molecular mechanisms of UV-mediated diseases (skin cancer and lupus). His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and Dermatology Foundation. 

Education & Training: 
Keio University Graduate School of Medicine
Tokyo Japan
Keio University Graduate School of Medicine
Tokyo Japan
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Judge Travel Award (4 consecutive years)
University of Washington School of Medicine Excellence in Teaching
Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID)/Albert M. Kligman Travel Fellowship Award