Patricia Blanchette

Joe W. Ramos has been appointed interim associate director of the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center as former Interim Associate Director Patricia Blanchette transitions out of her current position to continue with the John A. Burns School of Medicine as interim associate dean for medical education and academic affairs. In that role she will focus on the coordination of an outstanding team of people who are working on preparing for the school’s reaccreditation.

Blanchette reduced cancer center expenditures by more than $3 million a year by relocating all center activities into the center buildings and releasing leased space, not filling or replacing certain administrative staff positions, working with the medical school for joint efforts in contracting and eliminating unnecessary expenses and duplication. This was accomplished without harming the center’s productivity.

“I leave the center even more convinced about its importance and potential.”

Ramos is a respected world expert on cancer signal transduction and metastasis who has considerable experience with National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation from his five years as the cancer biology program director,” said Blanchette. “An excellent transition plan has been presented for the new interim associate director. I am assured that the center will be in very good hands.”

Joe W. Ramos

More on Ramos

Ramos is a professor and program director at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center. He has been on the faculty of the UH Cancer Center for more than 12 years. He served as program director of the Cancer Biology Program from 2011 and took part in the 2012 renewal of the UH Cancer Center’s NCI designation.

In the last year he has served as one of the chief academic leads at the cancer center responsible for helping the faculty work with the NCI external advisory committee towards the upcoming renewal of the NCI designation in 2017.

In addition, he has served UH as chair and member of many faculty committees, as a faculty senate representative where he served as chair of the committee on student affairs and as a UHPA representative.

Since coming to the UH Cancer Center from a position at Rutgers University in 2004, he has used insights from his research to identify novel potential drug targets to better fight cancer.

In collaboration with chemists in Mānoa and New York, he has developed a number of new anti-cancer therapeutic drug leads including one recently patented for kidney cancer. More recently he has focused on identifying new drug leads for brain tumors. His work has been published in top scientific journals including Nature, Cancer Research and PNAS.

Ramos serves on several national and international grant review boards and is editor at the journal Molecular Cancer. The National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, among others, have supported his work.

“As Interim associate director I will focus on continuing the good stewardship that Dr. Blanchette established while being proactive in working with the outstanding cancer center faculty to ready the center for a new director and renewal of the NCI designation.”

—By Nana Ohkawa