Karen E. Matsukuma, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, GI/Liver Pathology Fellowship

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

To see if Karen E. Matsukuma is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Surgical Pathology

Pathology - Gastrointestinal

Pathology - Anatomic

Pathology - GE, Liver, & Transplant

Locations and Contact

Pathology Building

4400 V St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Clinic Fax


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Matsukuma's research focuses on the molecular basis of pancreatic and biliary cancers, in particular genotype-phenotype correlations and identification of morphologic features that correlate with tumor behavior. Her interests and expertise also include Hirschsprung disease, for which she works closely with UCD's pediatric surgeons.


Anatomic Pathology

Undergraduate School

B.S., Human Physiology, UC Davis, Davis CA 1996

Medical School

M.D., UC Irvine College of Medicine, Irvine CA 2007

Other School

Ph.D., Biological Sciences, UC Irvine, Irvine CA 2006


Anatomic Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford CA 2007-2010


GI & Liver Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD 2010-2012


Surgical Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford CA 2012-2013

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Award, UC Davis Academic Senate, 2021

Clinical Research Award, UC Davis Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, 2018

Resident Teaching Award, UC Davis Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, 2016

Bright Ideas Fund Award, UC Davis Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, 2014

American Diabetes Association Medical Scholars Award, 2003

Mitra A, Lee HS, Matsukuma K. Acute Appendicitis with Neuronal Hyperplasia and Swelling: A Novel Histologic Mimic of Appendiceal Goblet Cell Adenocarcinoma and Signet-Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma. Int J Surg Pathol. 2022 May;30(3):278-281. doi:10.1177/10668969211047979. Epub 2021 Oct 7. PMID:34617794.

Theodorou CM, Jackson JE, Stokes SC, Pivetti CD, Kumar P, Paxton ZJ, Matsukuma KE, Yamashiro KJ, Reynaga L, Hyllen AA, de Lorimier AJ, Hassan M, Wang A, Farmer DL, Saadai P. Early investigations into improving bowel and bladder function in fetal ovine myelomeningocele repair. J Pediatr Surg. 2022 May;57(5):941-948. doi:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.12.046. Epub 2022 Jan 13. PMID:35093254.

Yaseen A, Ladenheim A, Olson KA, Libertini SJ, McPherson JD, Matsukuma K. Whole exome sequencing of a gut-associated lymphoid tissue neoplasm points to precursor or early form of sporadic colon carcinoma. Pathol Res Pract. 2021 Apr;220:153406. doi:10.1016/j.prp.2021.153406. Epub 2021 Mar 5. PMID:33740545.

Soares de Oliveira MA, Galganski L, Stokes S, Chang C-, Pivetti CD, Zhang B, Matsukuma KE, Saadai P, Chan JW. Diagnosing Hirschsprung disease by detecting intestinal ganglion cells using label-free hyperspectral microscopy. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 14;11(1):1398. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-80981-7. PMID:33446868.

Matsukuma K, Torbenson M. Autoimmune Gastritis. Am J Surgical Pathol Reviews Rep. 2019 Jul-Aug;24(4):150-156.

Makohon-Moore AP, Matsukuma K, Zhang M, Reiter JG, Gerold JM, Jiao Y, Sikkema L, Attiyeh MA, Yachida S, Sandone C, Hruban RH, Klimstra DS, Papadopoulos N, Nowak MA, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA. Precancerous neoplastic cells can move through the pancreatic ductal system. Nature. 2018 Sep;561(7722):201-205. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0481-8. Epub 2018 Sep 3. PMID:30177826.

Matsukuma K, Olson KA, Gui D, Gandour-Edwards R, Li Y, Beckett L. Synaptophysin-Ki67 double stain: a novel technique that improves interobserver agreement in the grading of well-differentiated gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors. Mod Pathol. 2017 Apr;30(4):620-629. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2016.225. Epub 2017 Jan 13. PMID:28084345.

Matsukuma K, Gui D, Olson KA, Tejaswi S, Clayton EF, Thai A. OsmoPrep-associated Gastritis: A Histopathologic Mimic of Iron Pill Gastritis and Mucosal Calcinosis. Am J Surg Pathol. 2016 Nov;40(11):1550-1556. doi:10.1097/PAS.0000000000000706. PMID:27454942.

Shain AH, Giacomini CP, Matsukuma K, Karikari CA, Bashyam MD, Hidalgo M, Maitra A, Pollack JR. Convergent structural alterations define SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeler as a central tumor suppressive complex in pancreatic cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 31;109(5):E252-9. doi:10.1073/pnas.1114817109. Epub 2012 Jan 10. PMID:22233809.

de Wilde RF, Heaphy CM, Maitra A, Meeker AK, Edil BH, Wolfgang CL, Ellison TA, Schulick RD, Molenaar IQ, Valk GD, Vriens MR, Borel Rinkes IH, Offerhaus GJ, Hruban RH, Matsukuma KE. Loss of ATRX or DAXX expression and concomitant acquisition of the alternative lengthening of telomeres phenotype are late events in a small subset of MEN-1 syndrome pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Mod Pathol. 2012 Jul;25(7):1033-9. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2012.53. Epub 2012 May 11. PMID:22575867.