Dr. Hara is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and devotes his time entirely to xenotransplantation research.
Dr. Hara obtained his MD from Kawasaki Medical School, Okayama, Japan in 1995, and then completed a general surgery fellowship and PhD in the Department of Surgery at Hiroshima University, Japan. During his surgical and research training, he became interested in organ transplantation, particularly in the field of xenotransplantation. Dr. Hara came to the United States in 2004 to gain further experience in transplant immunology.
As a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. David Cooper’s laboratory at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Dr. Hara gained considerable experience and made significant contributions to the field. He was steadily promoted through the ranks of Research Instructor (in 2007) and Research Assistant Professor (in 2011). When Dr. Cooper relocated his laboratory to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Dr. Hara joined him as an Assistant Professor of Surgery (in 2016), and was promoted to an Associate Professor in 2017.
Dr. Hara has extensive experience working with large animal models (e.g., pigs and nonhuman primates). He has participated in pig-to-baboon or monkey heart, liver, kidney, islet and corneal transplantation, as well as in various pig allotransplantation models. He has full responsibility for all of the in vitro assays performed in Dr. Cooper’s laboratory, and has contributed to our understanding of how various genetic modifications in pigs can protect their organs/cells from the human immune response.
Dr. Hara has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, many as first or corresponding author. His work has been reported in such prestigious journals as Immunology, Transplantation, Transplant Immunology, American Journal of Transplantation, Cell Transplantation, Diabetes, Pancreas, Islets, Cornea, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, and Xenotransplantation.
He is a member of the editorial boards of Xenotransplantation, Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology, Transplantation Research, and the Journal of Organ and Tissue Transplantation. He has acted as a reviewer for many journals, including Xenotransplantation.