New fund brings Nobel laureate to local Cancer Research Center

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Mar 11, 2010

HONOLULU – Nobel Prize winner and internationally-renowned cancer expert Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD is participating in local events aimed at raising awareness about liver and other cancers prevalent in Hawai‘i. This effort is spearheaded by the Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i and was made possible thanks to the foresight of the Weinman Foundation.
With a $1.7 million investment the Weinman Foundation has created the Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation at the Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i. This fund makes it possible for the center to invite prominent leaders in cancer research to Hawai‘i every year. These globally-recognized experts will be selected for their work in cancer research and its successful translation into therapy and care. While here, they will work with the Cancer Center and establish research collaborations with the faculty.
"This investment will create opportunities for Hawai‘i's researchers, faculty and physicians to work together with world-class cancer experts," said Virginia Weinman, president of the Weinman Foundation and member of the Friends of the Cancer Research Center board. "The goal is that these collaborations will inspire new and innovative ways of thinking about the study and treatment of cancer."
While visiting, the Weinman Foundation Innovator in Cancer Research presents scientific and public lectures. They also engage with students, faculty, community partners and university administrators for the purpose of presenting new ideas, including ideas that could be considered unconventional, to spur innovation in Hawai‘i.
"We are most grateful for this fund that will help bring fresh ideas and new knowledge to our State," said Dr. Michele Carbone, director, Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i."Ultimately our goal is to transform this leading-edge knowledge into improved treatments and therapies for the people of Hawai‘i and the world."
Dr. Blumberg is a Distinguished Scientist at Fox Chase Cancer Center and professor of medicine and anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of the Hepatitis B Virus and later developed the first vaccine for Hepatitis B, a pre-existing condition that can lead to liver cancer. Hawai‘i has the highest incidence of liver cancer in the nation.
"We are delighted to welcome Nobel Laureate, Dr. Baruch Blumberg as the inaugural Weinman Foundation Innovator in Cancer Research," said Weinman."His research has transformed the way we approach the prevention and treatment of liver cancer, and has literally saved millions of lives around the world."
As part of the effort to bring awareness and improve opportunities for collaboration to address liver cancer in Hawai‘i, Dr. Blumberg is giving a lecture to the medical community. This lecture is co-sponsored by The Queen's Medical Center and the Cancer Center with financial support from the American Cancer Society.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships.
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit
The Cancer Research Center of Hawai'i is one of only 65 National Cancer Institute-designated centers in the United States. Affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the center directs research, education and outreach programs throughout the state, including the operation of the Hawa'ii Tumor Registry and the Clinical Trials Unit.