A Native Hawaiian scientist at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) is one of 15 national researchers recognized for productivity and potential among under-represented minority postdoctoral fellows.
Heart researcher Andrew Kekūpaʻa Knutson will receive $60,000 over three years from the prestigious 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program. His research at the University of Hawaiʻi focuses on understanding how cardiomyocytes (the beating cells of the heart) respond to hypoxia or low oxygen levels.
“I enjoy the discovery aspect and the element of storytelling found in science,” said Knutson, who works in the lab of his mentor, Ralph Shohet, in JABSOM’s Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCR). “The investigators here are truly passionate about their science and are very collaborative. I get a lot of advice and feedback on my science and career from other investigators throughout JABSOM and especially in the CCR.”
Knutson aspires to eventually run his own research lab and study chromatin regulation in the contexts of development and disease. His goal is to remain in Hawaiʻi and train the next generation of scientists, especially students of Native Hawaiian ancestry.