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Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research

Research Medal Award Winner

Laurence N. Kolonel, headshot

Laurence N. Kolonel
Epidemiology and prostate cancer

Laurence N. Kolonel, deputy director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of epidemiology and prostate cancer and explores the relationship between diet and cancer.

In his more than 25 years of service to the University of Hawai‘i, Kolonel has published more than 200 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Kolonel’s early published studies demonstrated the role of environmental factors in the etiology of cancer leading to differences in incidence and mortality rates between ethnic groups. His pioneering research demonstrated the importance of diet in the development of cancer in humans.

Kolonel’s sustained funding and its phenomenal growth over the years is a testament to both the quality of his research and to its importance. This year he was honored with an R-37 MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health and received 11 million dollars over five years with a guaranteed extension. This is the first award made to a University of Hawai‘i faculty member. Kolonel received the award for his multiethnic cohort study of diet and cancer, which includes more than 215,000 participants in Hawai‘i and California and examines the influence of diet and other lifestyle factors on cancer risk among Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research is awarded by the Board of Regents in recognition of scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community. The board also awards the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

Select a recipient for more about that individual.

Current awardees and links to archives.


Milton Garces, headshot
Milton Garces
Geophysics and planetology
Albert Kim, headshot
Albert Kim
Civil and environmental engineering
Tobias Owen, headshot
Tobias Owen


Bruce Chorpita, headshot
Bruce Chorpita
Ho-min Sohn, headshot
Ho-min Sohn
Korean language
Paul Lucey, headshot
Paul Lucey
Geophysics and planetology


Alexander Krot, headshot
Alexander Krot
Geophysics and planetology
John L. Tonry, headshot
John L. Tonry


Andrew Harris, headshot
Andrew Harris
Laurence N. Kolonel, headshot
Laurence N. Kolonel
Cancer epidemiology
James B. Nation, headshot
James B. Nation


Margaret McFall-Ngai, headshot
Margaret McFall-Ngai
Marine organisms
Stephen Olsen, headshot
Stephen Olsen
High energy physics
 Edward Ruby, headshot
Edward Ruby
Marine organisms