ORCLS Researchers: Makoto Suzuki


Makoto Suzuki, MD, PhD.

Director, Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science
Principal Investigator, Okinawa Centenarian Study
Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus

Makoto Suzuki MD PhD is a cardiologist and geriatrician. He is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Department of Community Medicine at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. Currently, he is Director, Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science, in Urasoe, Okinawa. He recently retired from his position as professor in the Department of Human Welfare at Okinawa International University. He is Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study, a Japan Ministry of Health-funded study of the world's healthiest and longest-lived people. The study is entering its 36th year and is the longest continuously running centenarian study in the world. Dr. Suzuki has over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and his total publications number over 700 including scientific manuscripts, conference proceedings, books and book chapters on aging and health. As the first scientist to make a comprehensive study of Okinawan longevity, he organized a conference in 1995 in which the Director of the World Health Organization supported the declaration of Okinawa as a World Longevity Region. He was recently presented with the Nishi-Nihon News Award to recognize his lifetime contributions to health and well being in Japan.

A. Positions and Honors

1975-present: Principal Investigator, Okinawa Centenarian Study
1976 to 1981: Associate Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus
1981 to 1999: Professor of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, University of the Ryukyus
1981 to 1999: Director (Chief), Research Center for Comprehensive Medicine, University of the Ryukyus
1997-present: Director, Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science (ORCLS)
1999-present: Professor Emeritus of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus
2001 to 2004: Professor of Human Welfare, Okinawa International University
2001 to 2004: Chair, Division of Gerontology, Okinawa International University
Awards and Honors
1979 Japanese Heart Foundation Award
1981 Mitsukoshi Medical Award
1993 Chiyoda Medical Insurance Social Welfare Award
1994 Chiyoda Medical Insurance Social Welfare Award
1998 Western Japan Societal Achievement Award
2002 Multiple Sclerosis Society -- Best Wellness Book Nomination
2005 The Meritorious Prize of Okinawa Medical Science Research Foundation

B. Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

Scientific Manuscripts
Suzuki M, Mori H, Asato T. A medical study of centenarians: case control study of genetic factors, family history and longevity. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1985. 22:457-467 Jpn.
Takata H, Suzuki M, Ishii T. Influence of major histocompatibility complex region genes on human longevity among Okinawan-Japanese centenarians and nonagenarians. Lancet 1987. 824-826.
Akisaka M, Ashitomi I, Adachi M, Tanaka Y, Suzuki M. The relationship between aortic pulse wave velocity and atherogenic index in centenarians. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1993;30(6):467-73 Jpn.
Suzuki M, Akisaka M, Ashitomi I. A study of transition of ADLs in centenarians. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1995. 32:416-423 Jpn.
Akisaka M, Asato L, Suzuki M. Energy and nutrient intakes of Okinawan centenarians. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 1996. 42:241-248.
Akisaka M and Suzuki M. Family history and the frequency of human leukocyte antigen (HLA-DR) in centenarians. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1996:33(3):180-5 Jpn.
Akisaka M, Tanaka Y, Suzuki M. Longitudinal and comprehensive follow-up study of the oldest man in Japan. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1997;34(3):312-23.
Akisaka M, Suzuki M, Inoko H. Molecular genetic studies on DNA polymorphism of the HLA class II genes associated with human longevity. Tissue Antigens 1997:50:489-493.
Akisaka M and Suzuki M. Okinawa Longevity Study. Molecular genetic analysis of HLA genes in the very old. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1998:35(4):294-8 Jpn.
Nozaki H, Nohara Y, Ashitomi I, Zukeran R, Inafuku T, Akisaka M, Suzuki M. Serum globulin levels and activities of daily living in centenarians. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 1998;35(9):680-85 Jpn.
Suzuki M. Cultural climate and social customs for longevity region, Okinawa. J Japan Geriatrics Soc 2001;38(2):163-65 Jpn.
Suzuki M, Willcox BJ, Willcox DC. Implications from and for food cultures for cardiovascular disease: longevity. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr 2001;10(2):165-171.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Suzuki M. Evidence-based exceptional longevity: The demography of centenarians in Japan. J Cheju Island Studies 2002;22:85-86. Korean
Suzuki M, Tamaki M, Higa K, Willcox DC. ADL and its relation to personality in Okinawan-Japanese community dwelling centenarians. OIU J Social Welfare and Psychology 2003; 1 (1):39-49.
Bernstein AM, Willcox BJ, Tamaki H, Kunishima N, Suzuki M., Willcox DC, Yoo K, Perls T. Autopsy of an Okinawan-Japanese Centenarian: Absence of Many Age-Related Diseases. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 Nov; 59(11):1195-9.
Suzuki M, Willcox BJ, Willcox DC. Successful aging: Secrets of Okinawan longevity. Geriatrics and Gerontology International 2004; 4(4): S180-181.
Suzuki M. Okinawan longevity. Nutrition and Dietetics 2005; 8 (1):1-8.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Hsueh WC, Suzuki M. Genetic determinants of exceptional human longevity: insights from the Okinawa Centenarian Study. AGE 2006;28:313-32.
Willcox DC, He Q, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Siblings of Okinawan centenarians exhibit lifelong mortality advantages. J Gerontol Biol Med Sci 2006;61(4):345-54.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Todoriki H, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Caloric restriction and human longevity:What can we learn from the Okinawans? Biogerontology 2006;7:173-77.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Shimajiri S, Kurechi S, Suzuki M. Aging gracefully: a retrospective analysis of functional status in Okinawan centenarians. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007;15(3):252-6.
Willcox B, Willcox D, He Q, Masaki K, Grove J, Chen R, Yano K, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Insights into Healthy Aging: The Okinawa Centenarian Study and the Hawaii Lifespan Study. International Centenarian Symposium Proceedings 2006;(7):63-67.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, Fujiyoshi A, Yano K, He Q, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Caloric restriction, the traditional Okinawan diet and healthy aging: the diet of the world's longest-lived people and its potential impact on morbidity and lifespan. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2007;1114:434-455.
Suzuki M, Willcox C, Willcox B. The historical context of Okinawan longevity: influence of the United States and Mainland Japan. Okinawan J Am Studies 2007;4:46-61.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, Yano K, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Caloric restriction, energy balance and healthy aging in Okinawans and Americans: biomarker differences in septuagenarians. Okinawan J Am Studies 2007;4:62-74.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, He Q, Wang N-C, Suzuki M. They really are that old: a validation study of centenarian prevalence in Okinawa. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2008;63:338-349
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Todoriki H, Suzuki M. The Okinawan diet: health implications of a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich dietary pattern low in glycemic load. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009;28:500s-516s.
Scientific Abstracts
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Suzuki M. Built to Last? Past medical history of Okinawan-Japanese centenarians. J Amer Geriatr Soc 2002;50(4):P394.
Willcox BJ, Todoriki H, Willcox DC, Suzuki M, Yano K. Early Life Caloric restriction and exceptional survival in Okinawa: 50 years of population data. J Gerontol; Biol Sci 2003. Abstracts for 56th Annual Scientific meeting, Gerontological Society of America, Nov 21-25, 2003. (Hot Poster section).
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, Suzuki M. Successful aging in Okinawa: Low cardiovascular risk in Japan's oldest-old. JAGS 2001;49(4):P102.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Suzuki M. Evidence-based extreme longevity. The case of Okinawa, Japan. JAGS 2001;49(4):P397.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Jenkins DJA, Todoriki H, Suzuki M. Successful aging in Japan's longest-lived people: the role of the traditional Okinawan diet. Gerontology 2001;47(suppl.1):539.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, Suzuki M. Lifestyle and successful aging in Okinawa: what can we learn from Okinawan centenarians? J Okinawa Chubu Hosp 2001;27(suppl.2):18.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Suzuki M. Built to last? Past medical history of Okinawan-Japanese centenarians. JAGS 2002;50(4):S139.
Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Suzuki M. Defining cardiovascular health in a large population-based study of exceptional survivors. Circulation 2003;107(19):E157.
Willcox DC, Suzuki M, He Q, Yoo K, Curb JD, Willcox BJ. All in the Family: Do Siblings of Centenarians also live longer? Abstracts of the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting, Gerontological Society of America. November 2004. Washington, DC.
Suzuki M. Mind and Body of Okinawan Centenarians. Abstracts for the 2004 Asia-Pacific Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine, Okinawa, Japan Oct. 23-24 2004.
Willcox BJ, Hsueh WC, He Q, Willcox DC, Curb JD, Suzuki M. Substantial advantage for longevity in siblings of Okinawan centenarians. Genetic Epidemiology 2005;29(3):286-7.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Shimijiri S, Kurechi S, Suzuki M. A Retrospective Analysis of Functional change in Okinawan Centenarians. Gerontologist 2005, 45 (Sp.Iss.2):593-594.
Willcox D, Willcox B, Curb J, Suzuki M, Hsueh W, He Q. Longevity and gene-environment Interactions in Okinawa:A bio-cultural perspective. Gerontologist 2006, 46:137.
Hsueh W-C, He Q, Willcox DC, Suzuki M, Chen JW, Chen R,Yano K, Donlon T, Curb JD, Grove J, Browner WS, Cummings SR, Boehnke M, Kwok P-Y, Willcox BJ. Comparisons of Genome Diversity between the Okinawan and Four HapMap Populations. Abstracts of the American Society of Human Genetics 57th Annual Meeting 2007:1332.
Willcox DC, Willcox BJ, Hsueh W-C, He Q, Curb JD, Suzuki M. The genetics of longevity in Okinawa and Hawaii. The Gerontologist 47;2007:401.

C. Research Support

Ongoing
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Willcox DC) 04/01/06 - present
The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence and timing of age-related illness among centenarians in Okinawa from the years 2000-2008 (secondary data analysis from the Okinawa Centenarian Study) and compare the findings to other centenarian studies in the U.S.
Role: Co-Investigator
Completed
5 U19 AG023122-03 (Cummings) 07/01/06-06/30/07
California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
The Genetic Basis for Exceptional Longevity in Okinawa
Aims: Investigate the linkage disequilibrium patterns of Okinawans and determine whether this genotyping platform provides adequate coverage for a larger genome-wide association study.
Role: Subcontract PI
Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Hirose) 04/01/03 - 03/31/06
Preventive Geriatric Research Based on Centenarian Study Database (OCS and Tokyo) This study investigates ways that independence can be maintained in the oldest-old
Role: Co-Investigator
Okinawa International University (Suzuki) 04/01/02 - 03/31/03
Interventional Program for Healthy Aging
This project focused upon testing the effects of a lifestyle intervention program based on findings from the OCS on basic indices of health status including cholesterol, blood glucose and BMI levels.
Role: Principal Investigator
Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Hirose) 04/01/99 - 03/31/01
Centenarian Research in International Comparative Perspective
The goal of this research project was to compare data gathered from centenarian studies throughout the world with data gathered from the study of Japanese centenarians in Okinawa (OCS) and Tokyo.
Role: Co-Investigator
1 R03 AG21293-01 (Willcox B) 09/30/02 - 08/31/03
NIH/NIA
Genetics of Exceptional Longevity in Okinawan-Japanese Centenarians
In this study we are exploring SNP polymorphisms linked to exceptional survival among Okinawan (OCS) and American centenarians.
Role: Co-Investigator
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Suzuki) 04/01/96 - 03/31/98
Heredity of Aging and Longevity
This study investigated genetic factors associated with exceptional survival in Okinawa, Japan utilizing data from the OCS.
Role: Principal Investigator
Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare (Tauchi) 04/01/95 - 03/31/97
Lifestyle in Exceptional Longevity of Okinawan Centenarians
The major goal of this project was to examine lifestyle factors associated with exceptional survivorship of centenarians from the OCS in Okinawa and compare them to centenarians throughout Japan.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare (Tauchi) 04/01/92 - 03/31/94
Cognitive and Physical and Social Function of Centenarians
The goal of this project was to examine centenarians in Okinawa (OCS) and throughout Japan and factors associated with their longevity from a bio-psycho-social perspective.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator