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Randal K. Wada, MD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene ​
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Biomed c105G
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-9829
Fax: 808-956-0547

Larger photo of Randal K. Wada, MD


Dr. Wada is an Associate Professor of Nursing and an oncologist in the Department of Pediatrics of the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. After a general pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), he did a post-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Immunology at the UCLA School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. This was followed by a clinical fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UCLA, and a research fellowship back at CHLA. Upon completing his training in 1990 he joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine, where he remained until returning to Hawaii in 1996


MD, Emory University School of Medicine, 1983
MS, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1979
BA, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1979

Clinical Practice

Dr. Wada serves as Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, in the Department of Pediatrics, and is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. He is founder and Medical Director of the Hawaii Cord Blood Bank, and serves as the Medical Director of the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry, both of which are affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program. Dr. Wada serves as the local principal investigator for multiple transplant-related cooperative group studies. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Sub-Board Hematology/Oncology.

Research Focus

Dr. Wada’s research interests include multi-disciplinary approaches to improving health risk behaviors in survivors of childhood cancer using a trans-theoretical model-based patient management system, and electronic medical record-facilitated strategies for quality improvement. He is also a molecular biologist who conducts collaborative research on MYCN oncogene regulation in human neuroblastoma, with an emphasis on promoting minority student involvement in science and technology.

Recent Publications

Wada, Randal. (2017). Postcard from the Edge: Pediatric Transplant in Hawaii.International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published April 2017.

Sholler GLS, Gerner EW, Bergendahl G, McArthur RB, VanderWerff A, Ashikaga T, Ferguson W, Roberts W, Wada RK, Eslin D, Kraveka JM, Kaplan J, Mitchell D, Parikh NS, Neville K, Sender L, Higgins T, Kawakita M, Hiramatsu K, Moriya S, Bachmann AS. A phase I trial of DMFO targeting polyamine addiction in patients with relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma. PLOS One 10:e0127246, 2015.

Wada RK, Glaser DW, Bantum EO, Orimoto T, Steffen AD, Elia JL, Albright CL. Hawaii’s multiethnic adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer: How do their health behavior risks compare to state and national samples? Hawaii J Med Public Health 72:380-385, 2013.
Gawecka J, Geerts D, Koster J, Caliva M, Sulzmaier F, Opok-Ansah J, Wada R, Bachmann A, Ramos J. PEA12 impairs cell migration and correlates with clinical features predicting good prognosis in neuroblastoma. Int J Cancer 131:1556-1568, 2012.

Loui WS, Chang L, Kotsubo C, Wada R, Wong L. Bone Marrow Transplant in Hawaii. Hawaii Med J 68:30-32, 2009.

Kanemaru KK, Tuthill MC, Takeuchi KK, Sidell N, Wada RK. Retinoic acid induced downregulation of MYCN is not mediated through changes in Sp1/Sp3. Pediatr Blood Cancer 50:806-811, 2008.

Iwamoto LM, Fujiwara N, Nakamura KT, Wada RK. Na-K-2Cl cotransporter inhibition impairs human lung cellular proliferation. Am J Physiol-Lung Cell Mol Physiol 287:L510-514, 2004.

Kollman C, Abella E, Baitty RL, Beatty PG, Chakraborty R, Christiansen CL, Hartzman RJ, Hurley CK, Milford E, Nyman JA, Smith TJ, Switzer G, Wada RK, Setterholm M. Assessment of optimal size and composition of the U.S. national registry of hematopoietic stem cell donors. Transplantation 78:89-95, 2004.

Wada RK, Bradford A, Yim R, Drachman J, Strong MD, Rheems JA. Cord blood units collected at a remote site: A collaborative endeavor to collect umbilical cord blood through the Hawaii Cord Blood Bank and store units at the Puget Sound Blood Center. Transfusion 44:111-118, 2004.

Funded Grants

Hope on Wheels Foundation Scholar’s Award
Hawaii Cord Blood Bank
Funded from 2013 to 2014 for $75,000 direct costs
Principal Investigator

Electronic medical record-based intervention for improvement of health behaviors in survivors of childhood cancer (PACE+ II)
Hope on Wheel’s Foundation Scholar Award
Funded from 2012 – 2013 for $50,000 direct cost
Principal Investigator

Kapiolani Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Center quality management program
Hyundai Motor America Programmatic Hope Grant
Funded from 2012 to 2013 for $100,000 direct cost
Principal Investigator

Regulation of the MYCN oncogene in neuroblastoma
American Institute for Cancer Research
Funded from 2010 to 2013 for $160,000 direct cost
Principal Investigator.

A Home Exercise Program for Women with infants & young children
NIH, NIDA (9R42 DA0314022010) Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant between the UH School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene, Honolulu, HI and Klein Bluendel, Inc., Golden, CO
Funded from 2010 to 2013.

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