Titles and Roles
- Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Research Program
- Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics
Dr. Shoji and Dr. W. Ralph Vogler performed immunotherapy in patients with AML in remission using patients’ leukemic cells and BCG. Dr. Shoji postulated that cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP may be related to cell proliferation, and he studied cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase, protein kinase C and their inhibitors including alkyl-lysophospholipid in leukemia with Dr. J.F. Kuo, PhD in the Department of Pharmacology at Emory. Dr. Shoji then explored tissue factor (TF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiogenesis in cancer with Dr. Frederick R. Rickles, MD, at the CDC and Dr. Peter P. Nawroth, MD, at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Shoji found that TF is expressed in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in all cancers, but not in normal VECs. Dr. Nawroth showed that curcumin inhibits TF by inhibiting transcription factors NF-kappa B and AP-1. Dr. Shoji aimed to develop the targeted delivery of curcumin to TF-expressing tumor and tumor VECs. In collaboration with Drs. Dennis C. Liotta, PhD, and James P. Snyder at the Department of Chemistry, Emory, a panel of chemicals was tested to determine the active structure of curcumin and over 100 curcumin analogs have been synthesized.
Dr. Shoji was awarded the Merit Scholarship to cover the entire tuition during Pre-Medical School and Medical School.
Dr. Shoji's research goal is to cure drug-resistant glioblastoma multiforme, metastatic breast cancer to the lung, bone and brain, metastatic melanoma, metastatic prostate cancer, renal cancer, lung cancer and head and neck cancer. His approach is to deliver synthetic curcumin analogs (EF24, EF31 or UBS109) and paclitaxel (PTX) specifically to TF-expressing tumor vascular endothelial cells (VECs, the innermost layer of the blood vesels) and tumor itself. All tumors secrete VEGF, which attracts VECs to tumors and induces expression of TF (innate receptor of factor VIIa: fVIIa) on VECs, which is the target of Dr. Shoji’s drug delivery system.