Mamoru Shoji, MD


Titles and Roles

Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Mamoru Shoji, MD, is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.


Dr. Shoji obtained his Medical Degree from the Hokkaido University, Japan, and completed internships at the US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, residency in internal medicine at the Lahey Clinic, Boston, fellowship training in immunology at the Peter Bent Brigham and Robert Breck Brigham Hospitals, Harvard Medical School in Boston, in tumor immunology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, followed by fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University.


Dr. Shoji's research sought 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.

Early on in his research career, Dr. Shoji collaborated with colleagues to perform immunotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia in remission using patients' leukemic cells and BCG. He postulated that cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP may be related to cell proliferation, and studied cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase, protein kinase C and their inhibitors including alkyl-lysophospholipid in leukemia.

Dr. Shoji then explored tissue factor (TF), vascular endothelial growth factor and angiogenesis in cancer. He found that TF is expressed in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in all cancers, but not in normal VECs. Dr. Shoji aimed to develop the targeted delivery of curcumin to TF-expressing tumor and tumor VECs. In collaboration with colleagues at Emory, a panel of chemicals was tested to determine the active structure of curcumin and over 100 curcumin analogs were synthesized.

His approach was to deliver synthetic curcumin analogs 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 vascular endothelial growth factor, which attracts VECs to tumors and induces expression of TF (innate receptor of factor VIIa: fVIIa) on VECs, which was the target of Dr. Shoji's drug delivery system.


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