Pediatric Esophageal Center Q&A
Shaun M. Kunisaki, MD, MSc, is Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Associate Chief of Strategy and Integration in the Division of General Pediatric Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Dr. Kunisaki's clinical practice spans the full breadth of pediatric general, thoracic, and fetal surgery, but he is a nationally and internationally recognized authority in the prenatal and postnatal management of congenital thoracic anomalies, including lung malformations, esophageal atresia, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. He is the Director of the Fetal Program in General Pediatric Surgery and chairs the Prenatal Pediatrics Steering Committee, a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. As Director of the Pediatric Esophageal Center, he specializes in the management of complex esophageal disorders such as long-gap esophageal atresia. He serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, including Pediatrics and Surgery, and holds senior leadership positions in the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA), Section on Surgery of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Society of University Surgeons (SUS).
Dr. Kunisaki has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. His laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is largely focused on using stem cells derived from a patient's own tissues to better understand and treat several important pediatric surgical diseases. His team has developed techniques to reprogram fetal and neonatal tissues into pluripotent stem cells and organoids, and are working with scientists and engineers to improve long-term outcomes for children with severe birth defects, including spina bifida and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. More recently, he founded the Eastern Pediatric Surgery Network (EPSN), a clinical research collaborative composed of pediatric surgeons from over 20 children's hospitals in the country.
A native of southern California, Dr. Kunisaki graduated with honors from Harvard College, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Harvard Medical School. He completed general surgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School followed by a pediatric surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan. He also did additional research fellowships at the Massachusetts General Hospital and at Boston Children's Hospital.