Toshi Kawate, PhD

Department of Molecular Medicine

Associate Professor

Toshi Kawate's Lab

Department of Molecular Medicine
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
C4-151 Veterinary Medical Center
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 607.253.3783
Lab: 607.253.3324

Research Interest

Extracellular signaling plays a central role in cell-cell communication for all multicellular organisms, orchestrating various life processes from body formation to brain function. This diverse and important signaling is exquisitely controlled by a variety of membrane-spanning proteins, including transporters and ion channels. Our research interest focuses on understanding how these dynamic and fine-tuned proteins are built, how they release/receive signals, and how they integrate and convey these signals across the cell membrane. In particular, we are interested in the ion channels that regulate extracellular ATP-mediated signaling, a newly emerging field in cell-cell communication throughout the human body.


  • Ph D, Cellular, Molecular, Biophysical Studies, Columbia University, 2005
  • MS, Medical Science, Osaka University, 2000
  • BS, Biology, Osaka University, 1998

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2009-2011, Postdoctoral Fellow, NINDS, Laboratory of Dr. Kenton Swartz, National Institutes of Health
  • 2005-2009, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Vollum Institute, Laboratory of Dr. Eric Gouaux, Oregon Health and Science University
  • 2001-2005, Graduate Student, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Laboratory of Dr. Eric Gouaux, Columbia University
  • 2000-2001, Research Assistant, Department of Internal Medicine, Laboratory of Dr. Thomas Sato. UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas


  1. Karasawa, A., Michalski, K., Mikhelzon, P., and Kawate, T. (2017) The P2X7 receptor forms a dye-permeable pore independent of its intracellular domain but dependent on membrane lipid composition.  eLife 6:e31186.
  2. Karasawa A. and Kawate, T. (2017) Expression and Purification of a Mammalian P2X7 Receptor from Sf9 insect Cells. Bio Protoc7(17).
  3. Kawate T. (2017) P2X Receptor Activation. Adv Exp Med Biol. June 22;  PMID:28639248   DOI:10.1007/5584_2017_55
  4. Karasawa A. and Kawate, T. (2016) Structural basis for subtype-specific inhibition of the P2X7 receptor. eLife 5:e22153.
  5. Michalski, K. and Kawate, T. (2016) Carbenoxolone inhibits Pannexin1 channels through interactions in the first extracellular loop. J Gen Physiol. 147(2):165-74.
  6. Richards, M.J., Hsia, C.Y., Singh, R.R., Haider, S.H., Kumpf, J.M., Kawate, T., and Daniel, S. (2016) Membrane protein mobility and orientation preserved in supported bilayers created directly from cell plasma membrane blebs. Langmuir. 32(12):2963-74.

Awards and Honors

  • 2015-2017, Young Investigators Grants, The Human Frontier Science Program,
  • 2011-2014, NIH Pathway to Independence Award (R00)
  • 2010, NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence
  • 2010, NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99)

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • 2002, Biophysical Society