Naoki Tajiri, P.T., Ph.D.



Contact Info 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC77
Tampa, FL 33612

Academic Email:

Academic Phone: (813) 974-1666

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  • PhD, Biophysiological Science, Okayama University, 2010
  • MSc, Cytology and Histology, Okayama University, 2006
  • BS, Physical Therapy, Kibi International University, 2004

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease
  • Biomedical Engineering & Nanomedicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Neuroscience

Research Interests

  • Dr. Naoki Tajiri champions translational biomedical research in advancing combined stem cell and rehabilitation therapy for neurological disorders. He pioneered the novel brain repair mechanism of stem cell-paved biobridges as a key substrate in guiding the host cells to reach their destination even across non-neurogenic and injured tissues. His background is in regenerative medicine with specialized training in stem cell biology and rehabilitation therapy.


  • The Japan Society of Molecular Neurosurgery (General, 2008 - Present)
  • The Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) (General, 2007 - Present)
  • Japanese Physical Therapy Association (JPTA) (General, 2007 - Present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SFN) (General, 2006 - Present)

Recent Publications

  • Acosta SA, Tajiri N, Hoover J, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Intravenous Bone Marrow Stem Cell Grafts Preferentially Migrate to Spleen and Abrogate Chronic Inflammation in Stroke. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 46(9) : 2616-27, 2015.
  • Sullivan R, Duncan K, Dailey T, Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. A possible new focus for stroke treatment - migrating stem cells. Expert opinion on biological therapy. 15(7) : 949-58, 2015.
  • Gonzales-Portillo GS, Lozano D, Aguirre D, Reyes S, Borlongan CV, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y. An update on the use of melatonin as a stroke therapeutic. Minerva medica. 106(3) : 169-75, 2015.
  • Acosta SA, Tajiri N, de la Pena I, Bastawrous M, Sanberg PR, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Alpha-synuclein as a pathological link between chronic traumatic brain injury and Parkinson's disease. Journal of cellular physiology. 230(5) : 1024-32, 2015.
  • Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Staples M, Reyes S, Lozano D, Sanberg PR, Freeman TB, van Loveren H, Kim SU, Borlongan CV. Bone marrow-derived stem cell therapy for metastatic brain cancers. Cell transplantation. 24(4) : 625-30, 2015.
  • Watson N, Ji X, Yasuhara T, Date I, Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. No pain, no gain: lack of exercise obstructs neurogenesis. Cell transplantation. 24(4) : 591-7, 2015.
  • Lozano D, Gonzales-Portillo GS, Acosta S, de la Pena I, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Neuroinflammatory responses to traumatic brain injury: etiology, clinical consequences, and therapeutic opportunities. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment. 11: 97-106, 2015.
  • Reyes S, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. Developments in intracerebral stem cell grafts. Expert review of neurotherapeutics. 15(4) : 381-93, 2015.
  • Duncan K, Gonzales-Portillo GS, Acosta SA, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV, Tajiri N. Stem cell-paved biobridges facilitate stem transplant and host brain cell interactions for stroke therapy. Brain research. 1623: 160-5, 2015.
  • Kaneko Y, Sullivan R, Dailey T, Vale FL, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. Kainic Acid-Induced Golgi Complex Fragmentation/Dispersal Shifts the Proteolysis of Reelin in Primary Rat Neuronal Cells: An In Vitro Model of Early Stage Epilepsy. Molecular neurobiology. , 2015.
  • dela Peña IC, Yoo A, Tajiri N, Acosta SA, Ji X, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor attenuates delayed tPA-induced hemorrhagic transformation in ischemic stroke rats by enhancing angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 35(2) : 338-46, 2015.
  • Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Shojo H, Borlongan CV. Oxygen-glucose-deprived rat primary neural cells exhibit DJ-1 translocation into healthy mitochondria: a potent stroke therapeutic target. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics. 20(3) : 275-81, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Acosta SA, Shahaduzzaman M, Ishikawa H, Shinozuka K, Pabon M, Hernandez-Ontiveros D, Kim DW, Metcalf C, Staples M, Dailey T, Vasconcellos J, Franyuti G, Gould L, Patel N, Cooper D, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV, Bickford PC. Intravenous transplants of human adipose-derived stem cell protect the brain from traumatic brain injury-induced neurodegeneration and motor and cognitive impairments: cell graft biodistribution and soluble factors in young and aged rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 34(1) : 313-26, 2014.
  • Kaneko Y, Shojo H, Burns J, Staples M, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. DJ-1 ameliorates ischemic cell death in vitro possibly via mitochondrial pathway. Neurobiology of disease. 62: 56-61, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Hernandez D, Acosta S, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Ehrhart J, Diamandis T, Gonzales-Portillo C, Borlongan MC, Tan J, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Suppressed cytokine expression immediatey following traumatic brain injury in neonatal rats indicates an expeditious endogenous anti-inflammatory response. Brain research. 1559: 65-71, 2014.
  • Garbuzova-Davis S, Haller E, Williams SN, Haim ED, Tajiri N, Hernandez-Ontiveros DG, Frisina-Deyo A, Boffeli SM, Sanberg PR, Borlongan CV. Compromised blood-brain barrier competence in remote brain areas in ischemic stroke rats at the chronic stage. The Journal of comparative neurology. 522(13) : 3120-37, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Quach DM, Kaneko Y, Wu S, Lee D, Lam T, Hayama KL, Hazel TG, Johe K, Wu MC, Borlongan CV. Behavioral and histopathological assessment of adult ischemic rat brains after intracerebral transplantation of NSI-566RSC cell lines. PloS one. 9(3) : e91408, 2014.
  • Acosta SA, Tajiri N, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Sanberg PR, Sanchez-Ramos J, Song S, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Combination therapy of human umbilical cord blood cells and granulocyte colony stimulating factor reduces histopathological and motor impairments in an experimental model of chronic traumatic brain injury. PloS one. 9(3) : e90953, 2014.
  • Dela Peña I, Sanberg PR, Acosta S, Tajiri N, Lin SZ, Borlongan CV. Stem cells and G-CSF for treating neuroinflammation in traumatic brain injury: aging as a comorbidity factor. Journal of neurosurgical sciences. 58(3) : 145-9, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Staples M, Kaneko Y, Kim SU, Zesiewicz TA, Borlongan CV. Autologous stem cell transplant with gene therapy for Friedreich ataxia. Medical hypotheses. 83(3) : 296-8, 2014.
  • Pabon M, Tamboli C, Tamboli S, Acosta S, De La Pena I, Sanberg PR, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR STROKE. Cell medicine. 6(3) : 111-122, 2014.
  • de la Pena I, Pabon M, Acosta S, Sanberg PR, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Oligodendrocytes engineered with migratory proteins as effective graft source for cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis. Cell medicine. 6(3) : 123-127, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Duncan K, Antoine A, Pabon M, Acosta SA, de la Pena I, Hernadez-Ontiveros DG, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Kaneko Y, Yankee E, McGrogan M, Case C, Borlongan CV. Stem cell-paved biobridge facilitates neural repair in traumatic brain injury. Frontiers in systems neuroscience. 8: 116, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Acosta S, Portillo-Gonzales GS, Aguirre D, Reyes S, Lozano D, Pabon M, Dela Peña I, Ji X, Yasuhara T, Date I, Solomita MA, Antonucci I, Stuppia L, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Therapeutic outcomes of transplantation of amniotic fluid-derived stem cells in experimental ischemic stroke. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. 8: 227, 2014.
  • Tajiri N, Duncan K, Borlongan MC, Pabon M, Acosta S, de la Pena I, Hernadez-Ontiveros D, Lozano D, Aguirre D, Reyes S, Sanberg PR, Eve DJ, Borlongan CV, Kaneko Y. Adult stem cell transplantation: is gender a factor in stemness? International journal of molecular sciences. 15(9) : 15225-43, 2014.
  • Pantcheva P, Elias M, Duncan K, Borlongan CV, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y. The role of DJ-1 in the oxidative stress cell death cascade after stroke. Neural regeneration research. 9(15) : 1430-3, 2014.
  • Borlongan CV, Burns J, Tajiri N, Stahl CE, Weinbren NL, Shojo H, Sanberg PR, Emerich DF, Kaneko Y, van Loveren HR. Epidemiological survey-based formulae to approximate incidence and prevalence of neurological disorders in the United States: a meta-analysis. PloS one. 8(10) : e78490, 2013.
  • Dailey T, Mosley Y, Pabon M, Acosta S, Tajiri N, van Loveren H, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Advancing critical care medicine with stem cell therapy and hypothermia for cerebral palsy. Neuroreport. 24(18) : 1067-71, 2013.
  • Tajiri N, Dailey T, Metcalf C, Mosley YI, Lau T, Staples M, van Loveren H, Kim SU, Yamashima T, Yasuhara T, Date I, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. In vivo animal stroke models: a rationale for rodent and non-human primate models. Translational stroke research. 4(3) : 308-21, 2013.
  • Ishikawa H, Tajiri N, Vasconcellos J, Kaneko Y, Mimura O, Dezawa M, Borlongan CV. Ischemic stroke brain sends indirect cell death signals to the heart. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 44(11) : 3175-82, 2013.
  • Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Yankee E, McGrogan M, Case C, Borlongan CV. Stem cell recruitment of newly formed host cells via a successful seduction? Filling the gap between neurogenic niche and injured brain site. PloS one. 8(9) : e74857, 2013.
  • Franzblau M, Gonzales-Portillo C, Gonzales-Portillo GS, Diamandis T, Borlongan MC, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV. Vascular damage: a persisting pathology common to Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury. Medical hypotheses. 81(5) : 842-5, 2013.
  • Shinozuka K, Dailey T, Tajiri N, Ishikawa H, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Stem cell transplantation for neuroprotection in stroke. Brain sciences. 3(1) : 239-61, 2013.
  • Shinozuka K, Dailey T, Tajiri N, Ishikawa H, Kim DW, Pabon M, Acosta S, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Stem Cells for Neurovascular Repair in Stroke. Journal of stem cell research & therapy. 4(4) : 12912, 2013.
  • Yu S, Tajiri N, Franzese N, Franzblau M, Bae E, Platt S, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Stem cell-like dog placenta cells afford neuroprotection against ischemic stroke model via heat shock protein upregulation. PloS one. 8(9) : e76329, 2013.
  • Acosta SA, Diamond DM, Wolfe S, Tajiri N, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Hernandez DG, Sanberg PR, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Influence of post-traumatic stress disorder on neuroinflammation and cell proliferation in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. PloS one. 8(12) : e81585, 2013.
  • Acosta SA, Franzese N, Staples M, Weinbren NL, Babilonia M, Patel J, Merchant N, Simancas AJ, Slakter A, Caputo M, Patel M, Franyuti G, Franzblau MH, Suarez L, Gonzales-Portillo C, Diamandis T, Shinozuka K, Tajiri N, Sanberg PR, Kaneko Y, Miller LW, Borlongan CV. Human Umbilical Cord Blood for Transplantation Therapy in Myocardial Infarction. Journal of stem cell research & therapy. (Suppl 4) , 2013.
  • Dailey T, Metcalf C, Mosley YI, Sullivan R, Shinozuka K, Tajiri N, Pabon M, Acosta S, Kaneko Y, van Loveren H, Borlongan CV. An Update on Translating Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke from Bench to Bedside. Journal of clinical medicine. 2(4) : 220-241, 2013.
  • Tajiri N, Kellogg SL, Shimizu T, Arendash GW, Borlongan CV. Traumatic brain injury precipitates cognitive impairment and extracellular Aβ aggregation in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice. PloS one. 8(11) : e78851, 2013.
  • Ishikawa H, Tajiri N, Shinozuka K, Vasconcellos J, Kaneko Y, Lee HJ, Mimura O, Dezawa M, Kim SU, Borlongan CV. Vasculogenesis in experimental stroke after human cerebral endothelial cell transplantation. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 44(12) : 3473-81, 2013.
  • Yasuhara T, Agari T, Kameda M, Kondo A, Kuramoto S, Jing M, Sasaki T, Toyoshima A, Sasada S, Sato K, Shinko A, Wakamori T, Okuma Y, Miyoshi Y, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV, Date I. Regenerative medicine for epilepsy: from basic research to clinical application. International journal of molecular sciences. 14(12) : 23390-401, 2013.
  • Tajiri N, Lau T, Glover LE, Shinozuka K, Kaneko Y, van Loveren H, Borlongan CV. Cerebral aneurysm as an exacerbating factor in stroke pathology and a therapeutic target for neuroprotection. Current pharmaceutical design. 18(25) : 3663-9, 2012.
  • Tajiri N, Acosta S, Glover LE, Bickford PC, Jacotte Simancas A, Yasuhara T, Date I, Solomita MA, Antonucci I, Stuppia L, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV. Intravenous grafts of amniotic fluid-derived stem cells induce endogenous cell proliferation and attenuate behavioral deficits in ischemic stroke rats. PloS one. 7(8) : e43779, 2012.
  • Borlongan CV, Glover LE, Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Freeman TB. The great migration of bone marrow-derived stem cells toward the ischemic brain: therapeutic implications for stroke and other neurological disorders. Progress in neurobiology. 95(2) : 213-28, 2011.
  • Kaneko Y, Hayashi T, Yu S, Tajiri N, Bae EC, Solomita MA, Chheda SH, Weinbren NL, Parolini O, Borlongan CV. Human amniotic epithelial cells express melatonin receptor MT1, but not melatonin receptor MT2: a new perspective to neuroprotection. Journal of pineal research. 50(3) : 272-80, 2011.
  • Tajiri N, Yasuhara T, Shingo T, Kondo A, Yuan W, Kadota T, Wang F, Baba T, Tayra JT, Morimoto T, Jing M, Kikuchi Y, Kuramoto S, Agari T, Miyoshi Y, Fujino H, Obata F, Takeda I, Furuta T, Date I. Exercise exerts neuroprotective effects on Parkinson's disease model of rats. Brain research. 1310: 200-7, 2010.