Shaun Michael Kunisaki, M.D., M.Sc.

Headshot of Shaun Michael Kunisaki
  • Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Professor
  • Professor of Surgery


Anti-Reflux Surgery, Congenital Pulmonary Malformations, Diaphragmatic Hernia, Esophageal Surgery, Fetal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery, Neonatal Congenital Anomalies, Neonatal Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Tracheoesophageal Fistula, Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) more

Research Interests

spinal cord regeneration in spina bifida; lung development in congenital diaphragmatic hernia; perinatal stem cell reprogramming; congenital pulmonary malformations; esophageal atresia; 3D printing more

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Johns Hopkins Pediatrics

Appointment Phone: 443-997-5437
200 N. Wolfe Street
Rubenstein Child Health Building
Baltimore, MD 21287
Johns Hopkins Pediatrics - Google Maps

Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center

6420 Rockledge Drive
Johns Hopkins Children's Center Specialists, Suite 2300
Bethesda, MD 20817
Phone: 443-997-5437
Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center - Google Maps


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.

Philanthropy plays a crucial role in the work Dr. Kunisaki does by providing seed funding for research, funding for the best educational resources to train the future generation of pediatric surgeons, and additional support services for families receiving treatment that are not covered by insurance. 

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  • Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Professor
  • Associate Chief, Strategy & Integration, General Pediatric Surgery
  • Director, Fetal Program, General Pediatric Surgery
  • Director, Pediatric Esophageal Surgery, Johns Hopkins Children's Center
  • Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Harvard Medical School (2000)


  • General Surgery; Massachusetts General Hospital (2008)


  • Pediatric Surgery; University of Michigan Health System (2010)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery (General Surgery) (2009)
  • American Board of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery) (2012)

Research & Publications


Lab Website: Kunisaki Lab

Activities & Honors


  • James C. Carrico Faculty Research Award, American College of Surgeons, 2011
  • Harold Amos Award, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012
  • Barwick Scholar Award for Spinal Cord Research, 2015
  • RO1 (Principal Investigator), National Institutes of Health (NICHD), 2017
  • Castle & Connelly Medical Ltd. Top Doctors, 2018
  • Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, TEDCO
  • R21 (Principal Investigator), National Institutes of Health (NICHD), National Institutes of Health


  • American College of Surgeons, 2000


  • International Society for Stem Cell Research, 2010


  • American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery,, 2010


  • Association for Academic Surgery, 2010


  • International Pediatric Endosurgery Group, 2010


  • Society of Black Academic Surgeons, 2012


  • American Pediatric Surgical Association, 2012


  • Society of University Surgeons, 2018


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