two faculty members
V. Andrew Stenger and Wei-Kung Wang

Two researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) have each been awarded a prestigious R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). R01 grants are among the most rigorously reviewed and most competitive, each bringing in at least $1 million in federal direct dollars, and another half million in indirect funding to UH Mānoa.

The JABSOM researchers are V. Andrew Stenger, associate director in the Department of Medicine, and Wei-Kung Wang, professor of tropical medicine and medical microbiology.

“Each new R01 is a reason for celebration at our university. Only the best of the best in the country get them. These faculty have competed against faculty at Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Harvard and other prestigious institutions,” Rachel Boulay, JABSOM associate director for research said. “These projects were judged to be in the top percentile of all applications. These JABSOM faculty have undeniably strong research programs and give Hawaiʻi and our university a reason to be very proud.”

JABSOM currently has 15 active R01 grants from NIH.

V. Andrew Stenger

Stenger received an R01 for his research on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His research focuses on developing new methodology for MRI. He is writing new software that runs the scanner and creates the images, which could decrease the amount of time a patient is in the scanner and also provide new biomarkers for disease.

“My goal is to acquire the highest quality images in the shortest amount of time,” he said. “My new R01 is to develop a new method for simultaneously acquiring images with different types of contrast such as for iron and fat.”

Wei-Kung Wang

For the past 19 years, Wang has been conducting research with the focus of understanding the pathogenesis and antibody response following dengue virus infections and facilitating the development of vaccines and serodiagnosis.

Wang believes that a critical need exists for sensitive and specific serological tests to discriminate infections by pathogenic arthropod-borne viruses in geographic regions.

With his current R01 award, Wang’s laboratory proposes to employ these two antigens in multiplex formats in Bahia, a northeast state in Brazil.

Read more about the researchers on the JABSOM website.