When she is not busy at the lab or studying as a graduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Ruth Taketa enjoys learning about and participating in cultural events.

She joined the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce Cherry Blossom Festival in Hawaiʻi—the longest running ethnic festival in the state that perpetuates Japanese culture while enriching the lives of young women in Hawaiʻi.

Ruth Taketa in the laboratory.

Ruth Taketa

Taketa is a John A. Burns School of Medicine graduate research assistant with Robert Nichols, professor of cell and molecular biology, and was involved in his recent discovery of a potential new approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease.

“What we hope for is to provide a better understanding of the disease in order to prevent and treat the neurodegenerative disorder,” she said.

Taketa, a Roosevelt High School and UH Mānoa graduate, was named a 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Hawaiʻi Princess in 2017. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in cell and molecular biology at UH Mānoa and is one of the many examples of the various talents and faces that make up UH Mānoa and its medical school.