Dr. Ito’s research is in the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis. He discovered the major oncoprotein of polyomavirus, middle T antigen which is a membrane bound protein. This discovery indicated the importance of cell surface as the site to initiate cancer development. Structure of middle T antigen was later found to be mimicking activated growth factor receptor. More recently, his group identified RUNX transcription factors that are critical regulators of development and cancer, reported RUNX2 cDNA sequence for the first time and became a major contributor to establish the RUNX field. Most recently, he discovered RUNX3 is a tumor suppressor of gastric, colon and many other solid tumors. Furthermore, he discovered that RUNX genes have important roles in tissue stem cell which is cell of origin of cancer.