Skip to main content
Sign In

Mayumi Fujita, MD, PhD

Professor of Dermatology

​Phone: 303-724-4045(Office)
FAX: 303-724-4048​

University of Colorado School of Medicine

  • Professor (tenured), Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado AMC
  • Professor (secondary appointment), Department of Immunology and Microbiology
  • Physician, University of Colorado Hospital, Dermatology Clinic
  • Director, Research Services, RC-1 South Dermatology
  • Chair, Faculty Membership Committee, Cancer Biology Program, UCD Graduate School
  • Member, Immunology Program, UCD Graduate School
  • Member, Biomedical Sciences Program, UCD Graduate School
  • Member, University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • Member, Charles C. Gates Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology Program
  • Member, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Skin Disease Research Center
  • Member, Human Immunology & Immunotherapy Initiative, University of Colorado AMC Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Physician in Dermatology


Institution and location


Field of study

Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan​



Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan



Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan



Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan



University of Colorado, Denver, CO


Tumor biology

University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Skin biology

University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Internal Medicine

University of Washington, Seattle, WA




Clinical Interests

Psoriasis, autoimmune disease, melanoma

Research Interests

Melanoma biology, melanoma immunology, skin immunology, disease biomarker

Overview of Ongoing Research

The main focus of our current research is: 1) IL-1, inflammasomes and autoinflammation in human melanoma and skin diseases; 2) IL-37 and immune tolerance; 3) Tumor heterogeneity and plasticity in melanoma and its therapeutic resistance; and 4) ALDH2 and melanocyte activation and melanoma.​  

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (out of 90 peer-reviewed papers, including 17 first-author papers and 29 senior-author papers)

1.   Ravindron Menon D, Fujita M: A state of stochastic cancer stemness through the CDK1-SOX2 axis. Oncotarget 10: 2583-2585, 2019. PMID: 31080551

2.   Osborne DG, Domenico J, Luo Y, Reid AL, Amato C, Zhai Z, Gao D, Ziman M, Dinarello CA, Robinson WA, Fujita M: IL-37 is highly expressed in Treg cells of melanoma patients and enhanced by melanoma cell secretome. In press for Mol Carcinogenesis. Journal website:

3.   Matsumoto A, Ito S, Wakamatsu K, Ichiba M, Vasiliou V, Akao C, Song B, Fujita M: Ethanol induces skin hyperpigmentation in mice with aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 deficiency. Chemico-Biological Interactions 302:61-66, 2019. PMID: 30721697

4.   Ravindran Menon D, Luo Y, Arcaroli JJ, Liu S, Kutty LK, Osborne DG, Li Y, Samson JM, Bagby S, Tan AC, Robinson WA, Messersmith WA, Fujita M: CDK1 interacts with Sox2 and promotes tumor initiation in human melanoma. Cancer Research 78: 6561-6574, 2018. PMID: 30297536

5.   Sarvi S, Crispin R, Lu Y, Zeng L, Hurley TD, Houston DR, Kriegsheim A, Chen CH, Mochly-Rosen D, Ranzani M, Mathers ME, Xu X, Xu W, Adams DJ, Carragher NO, Fujita M, Schuchter L, Unciti-Broceta A, Brunton VG, Patton EE. ALDH1 bio-activates nifuroxazide to eradicate ALDHhigh melanoma-initiating cells. Cell Chemical Biology 25: 1456-1469, 2018. PMID: 30293938

6.   Zhai Z, Liu W, Luo Y, Kaur M, Shellman YG, Norris DA, Dinarello CA, Spritz RA, Fujita M: NLRP1 promotes tumor growth by enhancing inflammasome activation and suppressing apoptosis in human melanoma. Oncogene 36:3820-3830, 2017. PMCID: PMC5501746

7.   Li Y, Fujita M, Boraschi D: Endotoxin contamination in nanomaterials leads to the misinterpretation of immunosafety results. Front Immunol 8: 472.1-7, 2017. PMID: 28533772

8.   Dinarello CA, Nold-Petry C, Nold M, Fujita M, Li S, Kim S, Bufler P: Suppression of innate inflammation and immunity by interleukin family member interleukin-37. Eur J Immunol 46: 1067-81, 2016. PMID: 27060871. PMCID: PMC5003108

9.   Li S, Neff CP, Barber K, Hong J, Luo Y, Azam T, Palmer BE, Fujita M, Garlanda C, Mantovani A, Kim SH, Dinarello CA: Extracellular forms of IL-37 inhibit innate inflammation in vitro and in vivo but require the IL-1 family decoy receptor IL-1R8. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112: 2497-2502, 2015. PMID: 25654981. PMCID: PMC4345608

10. Chen HM, Fujita M: IL-37: A new player in immune tolerance. Cytokine 72; 113-114, 2015. PMID: 25592113

11. Luo Y, Cai X, Liu S, Wang S, Nold-Petry CA, Nold MF, Bufler P, Norris DA, Dinarello CA, Fujita M: Suppression of antigen specific adaptive immunity by IL-37 via induction of tolerogenic dendritic cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(42);15178-83, 2014. PMID: 25294929. PMCID: PMC4210310

12. Liu W, Luo Y, Dunn JH, Norris DA, Dinarello CA, Fujita M: Dual role of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) in tumorigenesis of human melanoma. J Invest Dermatol 133(2); 518-27, 2013. PMID: 22931929. PMCID: PMC3511638

13. Luo Y, Dallaglio K, Chen Y, Robinson WA, Robinson S, McCarter MD, Wang J, Gonzalez R, Thompson DC, Norris DA, Roop DR, Vasiliou V, Fujita M: ALDH1A isozymes are markers of human melanoma stem cells and potential therapeutic targets. Stem Cells 30(10): 2100-13, 2012. PMID: 22887839. PMCID: PMC3448863

14. Luo Y, Ellis LZ, Dallaglio K, Takeda M, Robinson WA, Robinson S, Liu W, Lewis KD, McCarter MD, Gonzalez R, Norris DA, Roop DR, Spritz RA, Ahn NG, Fujita M: Side population cells from human melanoma tumors reveal diverse mechanisms of chemoresistance. J Invest Dermatol 132(10); 2440-50, 2012. PMID: 22622430

15. Dunn JH, Ellis LZ, Fujita M: Inflammasomes as molecular mediators of inflammation and cancer: Potential role in melanoma. Cancer Lett 314: 24-33, 2012. PMID: 22050907

16. Tanaka A, Jensen JD, Prado R, Riemann H, Shellman YG, Norris DA, Chin L, Yee C, Fujita MWhole recombinant yeast vaccine induces anti-tumor immunity and improves survival in a genetically engineered mouse model of melanoma. Gene Ther 18: 827-34, 2011. PMID: 21390072

17. Okamoto M, Liu W, Luo Y, Tanaka A, Cai X, Norris DA, Dinarello CA, Fujita M: Constitutively active inflammasome in human melanoma cells mediating autoinflammation via caspase-1 processing and secretion of interleukin-1b. J Biol Chem 285: 6477-88, 2010. PMID: 20038581. PMCID: PMC2825443

Grant Support

1. Active

R01 CA197919 (Fujita)                   3/1/16-2/28/21                        2.16 calendar months


Title: Modulation of inflammasome-mediated cytokine activation by EGCG in human melanoma

Project goals: To explore the molecular and biological mechanisms of action of EGCG in regulating IL-1b secretion in human melanoma cells and its effects in vivo. 

PI: Mayumi Fujita

2. Active

I01BX001228 (Fujita)                     7/1/12-9/30/21                        2.4 calendar months

VA merit award grant

Title: Autoinflammation in human melanoma

Project goals (2012-2017): To understand how autoinflammation from melanoma cells contributes to tumor growth and progression in tumor microenvironment.

Project goals (2017-2021): To understand how autoinflammation from melanoma cells contributes to immune escape and tumor progression in tumor microenvironment.

PI: Mayumi Fujita

3. Active

R01 Supplement 3R01CA197919-01A1S1 (Fujita)  8/1/17-7/31/19    1.2 calendar months


Title: Modulation of inflammasome-mediated cytokine activation by EGCG in human melanoma

Project goals: Supplement to enhance the training of Jenny Mae Samson (eligible for Diversity Supplement as a female Pacific Islander) who is enrolled in the Cancer Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. 

PI: Mayumi Fujita

4. Active

BX002370 (Norris)                10/1/09-9/30/19 (renewal submitted)      1.2 calendar months

VA merit award grant

Title: Melanoma resistance to apoptosis

Project goals: A comprehensive study of the anti-apoptotic defenses of melanoma and ways to reverse these defenses.

PI: David A Norris, Co-I: Mayumi Fujita

5. Active

BX (Horswill)                                 4/1/19-3/30/23                        1.2 calendar months

VA merit award grant

Title: Quorum Sensing Dependent Interactions with Biofilms and Innate Immunity Defenses

Project goals: To understand mechanisms of skin colonization of Staphylococcus aureus and the role of quorum-sensing.

PI: Alexander R Horswill, Co-I: Mayumi Fujita