Mount Sinai Hospital

Dr. Kenichi Okamoto

The Best Medicine

After a global search, neuroscientist and microscopy innovator Dr. Kenichi Okamoto was recruited to the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute (The Lunenfeld) in 2008. Previously at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Okamoto is studying the molecular mechanisms that control brain functions such as learning and memory.

"I was drawn to the Lunenfeld because of its reputation for breaking new ground and being at the forefront of biomedical research internationally," says Dr. Okamoto.

He has already developed a unique microscopy technique to view specific brain proteins, which is used by scientists worldwide focused on understanding and treating brain illnesses including Alzheimer's disease.

This year, Dr. Okamoto will complete his development of the world's first microscope equipped with infrared lasers, giving Mount Sinai Hospital researchers unprecedented views of deep regions in the brain. Using the new microscope, researchers can simultaneously view and manipulate specific brain proteins in real time and in living cells.

"Our goal is to aid the development of more sophisticated, targeted therapies for brain illnesses, by repairing the function of disease-related proteins," says Dr. Okamoto.