Phoenix, Arizona


kita.hirohito@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Immunity and inflammatory processes play important roles in the pathophysiology of allergic diseases. These diseases include asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis, which also is called eczema, chronic sinusitis, which also is called chronic rhinosinusitis, and various food allergies, such as peanut allergy.

As an allergic diseases specialist, Hirohito Kita, M.D., seeks to better understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms of these diseases and develop better ways to prevent, treat and cure them. Dr. Kita's specific focus is on immune cells, innate immunity and mucosal immunity.

Dr. Kita has strong collaborative ties with Mayo Clinic investigators and doctors in immunology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, and otorhinolaryngology. He also collaborates with investigators at other institutions.

Focus areas

  • Early development of T-helper 2 (Th2)-type immune responses to allergens. Dr. Kita studies how airway exposure to common allergens leads to Th2-type immunity. He has examined how products of airway epithelial cells affect the function of dendritic cells, CD4+ T cells, novel innate lymphoid cells and other immune cells in the airways. He also has created several lab models to study immunological mechanisms involved in Th2-type airway immune responses.
  • Interaction between airway mucosa and environmental allergens and pathogens. Dr. Kita uses tissue cultures, models, and genetic and pharmacological approaches to study the response of airway epithelial cells to environmental allergens and pathogens. He also studies the role of commensal microorganisms in regulating mucosal immune responses.
  • Persistence and chronic activation of immune cells in allergic conditions. Dr. Kita studies the response of immune cells, such as lymphocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells, to common environmental antigens in people with allergic conditions, such as asthma and chronic sinusitis. He also uses models to mimic worsending of chronic airway inflammation and manipulate the immune system as a potential treatment approach.
  • Pathologic mechanisms of eosinophils in people. Dr. Kita studies how eosinophils infiltrate tissues and how eosinophils are activated in local inflammatory sites. He also studies the role that eosinophils play in immunity, tissue homeostasis and pathology.
  • Novel treatment and prevention strategies for asthma and allergic conditions. Dr. Kita studies whether manipulation of the mucosal environment by antimicrobial agents and manipulation of immune cell functions will prevent or inhibit progression of airway inflammation.

Significance to patient care

In his research, Dr. Kita uses cutting-edge immunological tools and models and analyzes specimens from patients. The knowledge gained from this research may lead to new methods to prevent, diagnose and cure allergic diseases. Dr. Kita also has identified how exposure to allergens early in life prevents or worsens allergic diseases. He also has discovered new treatment strategies using pharmacological drugs and biological agents.

Professional highlights

  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    • Merit Award, 2018-present.
    • Ad hoc member, Board of Scientific Counselors, 2021.
    • Special Emphasis Panel, Emergency Awards, Rapid Investigator of SARS-CoV-2, 2020.
  • Editorial board member, Allergology International, 2012-present.
  • Editorial board member, Clinical Immunology, 2012-present.
  • Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2011-present.
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2017-2021.
  • Ad hoc member, Special Emphasis Panel, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), 2015-2018.
  • Dean's Recognition Award, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2014.
  • Ad hoc member, Special Emphasis Panel, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 2012-2013.
  • National Institutes of Health.
    • Ad hoc member, Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Advisory Council, 2023.
    • Ad hoc member, Hypersensitivity, Allergies and Mucosal Immunology (HAMI) Study Section, 2019-2020.
    • Ad hoc member, Member Conflicts Special Emphasis Panel, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), 2015, 2018.
    • Ad hoc member, Hypersensitivity, Autoimmune, and Immune-mediated (HAI) Diseases Study Section, 2013-2017; regular member 2007-2011.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Immunology, Department of Research
  2. Consultant, Department of Otolaryngology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Immunology
  2. Professor of Medicine


  1. Post Doctoral Fellowship - Immunology and Internal Medicine Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  2. Fellow - Pediatrics Mie University
  3. Post Doctoral Fellowship - Pediatrics and Allergy Mie National Hospital
  4. Resident - Pediatric Allergy Mie National Hospital
  5. Resident - Pediatrics Shizuoka Childrens Hospital
  6. MD Mie University

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