Paulette M. Yamada (Tamashiro), PhD

Paulette M. Yamada (Tamashiro), PhD

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Associate Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Associate Professor, College of Education, Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

PhD, Exercise Physiology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
MS, Exercise Physiology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

Cancer Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Pediatric Endocrinology Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, Pediatric Endocrinology


2017 – Cancer Exercise Specialist Level 2, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO


2021 – WeLEAD (Women Emerging, Leading, Empowering, Advocating and Developing), selected as a mentee in the initiative to strengthen the community of dynamic women academic leaders at UH Mānoa
2020 – Finalist for Teaching in Excellence Award at the University of Hawaiʻi, nominated by students and colleagues
2017 – Hubert Everly Endowed Scholar in Education Award
2006 – Distinction on Doctoral Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation

Research Focus

As an Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Yamada is interested in using exercise rehabilitation to improve and/or maintain the health, fitness and quality of life (QOL) of adult and pediatric patients diagnosed with cancer. Cancer treatment-related toxicities cause cardiovascular and respiratory dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy (which reduces sensation and function of the fingers and palms and increases the risk of falls due to lack of sensation in the soles of the feet), reduces muscle mass, muscular strength, bone density and perhaps the most debilitating – causes cancer-related fatigue (fatigue that is not reversed with rest).

This area of research is highly impactful because in the United States alone, it is projected that in 2030 there will be 22.2 million adult cancer survivors. Cancer survivorship rates are increasing due to the improved efficacies of cancer treatments. While this is a positive projection, cancer treatments result in physical deconditioning and predisposes patients to lifestyle diseases, i.e., type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Exercise provides a holistic approach to treating the patient, where it addresses both the improvement in physiological (fitness) and psychosocial components after cancer diagnosis and treatment.

On a broad level, Dr. Yamada is committed to implementing cancer exercise rehabilitation programs within the community, and understanding the mechanisms by which exercise improves fitness, health and QOL in patients. In addition, she is focused on educating students about the oncological considerations in exercise programming, with the aim of generating a knowledgeable workforce. Dr. Yamada is committed to working with colleagues at the University of Hawaiʻi to provide patients with exercise leadership, and to facilitate the resumption of their hobbies and favorite activities, to ultimately impact their QOL.

Selected Publications

Yamada PM, Centeio EC, Bantum EO, Cao S, Lopez GM. (2023). Informing the delivery of physical activity leadership for pediatric patients undergoing cancer treatment. Int J of Kinesiology in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/24711616.2023.2237427.

Short T, Teranishi-Hashimoto C, Yamada PM. Exercise-Based Cancer Rehabilitation Program Improves Phase Angle in Breast Cancer Survivors. (2022) Int J Exerc Sci;15(3):1444-1456. PubMed PMID: 36618335; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9797008.

Yamada PM, Priest J. Utilizing a Team Kinesiology Model to support rehabilitative care in patients. (2022) Int J of Environ and Public Health; 19(4) 2079. DOI 10.3390/ijerph19042079.

Yamada PM, Teranishi-Hashimoto C, Bantum EO. (2021). Paired exercise has superior effects on psychosocial health compared to individual exercise in female cancer patients. Support Care Cancer; DOI: 10.1007/s00520-021-06209-6.

Yamada PM, Teranishi-Hashimoto C, Temanaha A. (2020). Undergraduate Curriculum Designed to Facilitate a Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program. J Cancer Educ;

Publication list via NIH my Bibliography (PubMed)

Completed Grants

PM. Yamada (PI), E. Centeio (Co-I)
Hawaii Community Foundation Medical Research Program
“Pediatric Physical Activity (PePA): Understanding best practices in implementing physical activity for patients diagnosed with childhood cancer”
The long-term goal of this project is to reduce the effects of cancer treatment and improve quality of life (QOL) by providing a place of socialization and a strategically-designed physical activity program. The aims are to: determine the feasibility of administering the program and patient acceptability of the program, and explore trends on the impact of a virtual physical activity intervention on patient psychosocial health and physical fitness
05/19/2021 – 08/30/2023