Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D.

Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D.


Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Sawa conducts translational studies of major brain and behavior disorders, such as schizophrenia and Huntington’s disease, with a particular emphasis on molecular pathways of the diseases. One of his projects involves the production of animal models to test gene environment interactions in the developmental trajectory of the disease pathologies. Another project is a molecular study of the stress-sensing mechanism in the context of the pathologies of mental illness, particularly at disease onset. Dr. Sawa is also working on molecular expression and functional profiling with patient cells and tissues, all of which are aimed to be integrated toward a molecular understanding of mental illnesses.

Dr. Sawa joined Johns Hopkins University in 1996 as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Scientific Council Member Dr. Solomon Snyder and became a Professor in 2009.

NARSAD Grants: Young Investigator 2002 and 2004, Distinguished Investigator 2011

Foundation Prizes: 2008 Freedman Prize Honorable Mention for Exceptional Basic Research by a Young Investigator