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Hawaii Innovation Initiative Tabloid Hawaii Innovation Initiative Gets Under Way

Box jellyfish research breakthrough by Manoa biochemist

Angel Yanagihara, a researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has developed a medicine that effectively treats the sting of a box jellyfish. Though the sting is usually just a painful nuisance in Hawaiʻi, it is deadly in places like Australia, Thailand and Indonesia. Yanagihara works for the university’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center and the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Clinical Trials in Hawai‘i

Art Ushijima, president and CEO, The Queen’s Health Systems/The Queen’s Medical Center
Clinical trials bring novel therapies to patients, advance care and create opportunities for commercialization, Ushijima said. Success requires having established and funded researchers, providing adequate infrastructure and resources, collaborating on strategic partnerships and developing expertise in the path to market. It also requires willingness to take some risk.
Watch the video | Download his presentation slides

Innovation in Healthcare: RMATRIX and Beyond

Jerris Hedges, dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Manoa
Hedges reviewed JABSOM research programs and facilities including RMATRIX, which seeks to move knowledge from the laboratory to the bedside in conditions of particular concern in Hawai‘i. Personalized medicine, which considers genes and cultural aspects in identifying the best treatment for a given patient, also has potential here.
Watch the video | Download his presentation slides

Advancing Innovation and Convergence in Cancer Research

Jerry S. H. Lee, deputy director, Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives, National Cancer Institute
Cancer researchers have published more in the last 10 years than in the 90 years prior, but has it helped patients? NCI is looking to mathematicians, engineers and physicists for better ways to analyze genetic data and has launched new programs in recent years that may produce benefits within the next five years, Lee said.
Watch the video | Download his presentation slides

Hula For Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapy

For the first time ever, researchers have determined the metabolic equivalent for hula in a study that shows the Native Hawaiian dance form can be an effective and engaging cardiac rehabilitation therapy. Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine and The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu presented preliminary findings to the participants of the study on August 28, 2012. Read more....


  • The University of Hawai‘i can be the new driver to create new businesses in biofuels, geothermal, wind; continuing development of technologies of use to the military; and biomedical advances. We have the entrepreneurs, the commitment and the partners to do it. The UH is going to be in the lead and I couldn’t be happier to make my complete commitment to it.”
    Neil Abercrombie, Governor, State of Hawai‘i
  • I am pleased to support the University of Hawaii’s Innovation Initiative. Please join me in expanding Hawai‘i’s research industry for a better and brighter tomorrow for the generations to follow.”
    The late Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator
  • There is huge economic opportunity in growing our research sector. We need to seize the day and support the University of Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative.”
    Walter A. Dods, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Matson Inc.
  • The local business community has long recognized that research and innovation need to be part of Hawai‘i’s future.”
    Gary Kai, Executive Director, Hawai‘i Business Roundtable
  • Hawai‘i needs a strong research university to fully realize the potential of our knowledge-based sectors.”
    Jeanne Unemori Skog, President and CEO, Maui Economic Development Board
  • The University of Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative is an effort we hope the community will support, because it could determine the future of the state.”
    M. R. C. Greenwood, President, University of Hawai'i