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Shane Y. Morita, MD

Shane Y. Morita, MD
  • Assistant Clinical Professor
    Clinical and Translational Research Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Assistant Clinical Professor
    John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Attending Surgeon
    Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery
    The Queen's Medical Center
  • Director
    Surgical Oncology Research Program
    The Queen's Cancer Center


  • MD, MS, Clinical Research
    John A. Burns School of Medicine
    University of Hawaii at Manoa

Research Focus

Since high school, Dr. Morita has had an interest in research and began to understand the value of collaboration as he worked with a pathologist on a cancer project. Thereafter in his General Surgery residency, he had the opportunity to return to Hawaii and study topics involving melanoma and ethnic disparity. This fostered his enthusiasm for translational research as well as complex oncologic cases; subsequently, he completed a fellowship in Surgical Oncology. He grew to appreciate the intricacies and challenges of conducting scientific experiments pertaining to melanoma, the tumor microenvironment, and molecular pathways. Most importantly, the concept of a research team was validated.

As an Oncologic Surgeon in Hawaii, he has access to a wide array of various ethnicities and recognizes the disparities that are germane to melanoma. His interactions with non-Caucasian patients in Hawaii led to the idea for investigating the molecular aspects of melanoma and completing a pilot study. These data were then incorporated in a grant that ultimately led to identification of a mentor and salary support. This research has influenced him to pursue a Master's Degree in Clinical Research. It is hopeful that the team's efforts will provide novel information to further understand the biology of melanoma and serve as a platform for the development of future clinical trials to treat patients with melanoma.

Selected Publications

  • Morita SY. Thyroid Cancer in a Multi-ethnic Population: Disparity Exists. Clinical and Translational Science, April 2010; Vol. 3. No. 2: S12.
  • Morita SY, Brownlee NA, Dackiw AP, Westra WH, Clark DP, and Zeiger MA. Recurrent Hyperparathyroidism and Papillary Thyroid Cancer: An Unusual Case. Endocrine Practice, July 2009; Vol. 15, No. 4: 349-352.
  • Morita SY, Somervell H, Umbricht CB, Dackiw AP, and Zeiger MA. Evaluation for Concomitant Thyroid Nodules and Primary Hyperparathyroidism in Patients Undergoing Parathyroidectomy or Thyroidectomy. Surgery, 2008; Vol. 144, No.6: 862-866.
  • Blansfield JA, Caragacianu D, Alexander HR, III, Tangrea MA, Morita SY, Lorang D, Schafer P, Muller, G, Stirling D, Royal RE, and Libutti SK. Combining Agents that Target the Tumor Microenvironment Improves the Efficacy of Anti-Cancer Therapy. Clinical Cancer Research, January 2008; Vol. 14, No. 1: 270-280.
  • Blansfield JA, Alexander HR III, Morita SY, and Libutti SK. Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment to Treat Human Ocular Melanoma in Nude Mice using the Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Sunitinib or Sorafenib Alone and in Combination with Metronomic Doses of Cyclophosphamide. Annals of Surgical Oncology, February 2007; Vol. 14, No. 2 (Suppl.) 2.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • S. Morita, Principal Investigator
    North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) Junior Faculty Academic-Community Partnership Program
    Ethnic Disparity of Melanoma in Hawaii: Molecular Analysis of Biospecimens
    January 2011 - December 2013