Basic research in cancer biology is paramount to unraveling and understanding the mechanisms of cancer development and progression. Novel insights obtained from basic research investigations are critical for generating new ideas and strategies for cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy. Members of the Cancer Biology Program (CB) investigate the fundamental cellular, molecular, genetic, biochemical, and immunological mechanisms of cancer biology and develop molecular tools and experimental therapeutics that modulate them. The program has 31 actively participating members from the University of Hawaii's Cancer Center, School of Medicine, and College of Pharmacy as well as the Queen's Medical Center. Of these 25 have joined since the previous review. CB members currently receive a combined $5.63M annually in direct funding, including $3.76M from the NCI and $1.79M in other NIH support. Over the past five years, they have authored a total of 193 cancer-related publications, of which 21% originated from intraprogrammatic, 12% from inter-programmatic, and 5% from inter/intra-programmatic collaborations. The primary goal of the CB is to foster translational research through multi-disciplinary collaborations where investigations of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer development and progression lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets and potential strategies for cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, drug discovery and treatment. The major goals of the program are (1) to generate novel mechanistic insight into the processes that drive tumor initiation, progression, and invasion (Cancer Mechanisms);(2) to target these mechanisms with new small molecules and natural products using cellular and biochemical assays (Drug Discovery);(3) to translate these results into more effective preventive, early detection, and therapeutic modalities (Diagnostics &Intervention). Members of the program have complementary expertise in cell and molecular biology (signal transduction, membrane biophysics, immunobiology and inflammation, and genetics), virology, chemical biology (biochemistry, synthetic chemistry, natural products), pathology and surgery. In addition, the program also includes focus groups dedicated to the investigation of specific cancers. These focus groups provide a framework to translate novel research findings into the development of targeted clinical interventions or innovative diagnostic approaches in these cancers.

Public Health Relevance

The Cancer Biology Program studies the basic mechanisms that contribute to the initiation, progression, and spread of cancer, and targets these mechanisms with novel drugs. Over the past decade this program has advanced our understanding of cancer etiology, developed novel therapeutic strategies through drug discovery, and contributed to improvements in cancer treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Hawaii
United States
Zip Code
Park, Sungshim Lani; Kotapati, Srikanth; Wilkens, Lynne R et al. (2014) 1,3-Butadiene exposure and metabolism among Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, and White smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23:2240-9
Park, S Lani; Fesinmeyer, Megan D; Timofeeva, Maria et al. (2014) Pleiotropic associations of risk variants identified for other cancers with lung cancer risk: the PAGE and TRICL consortia. J Natl Cancer Inst 106:dju061
Harmon, Brook E; Little, Melissa A; Woekel, Erica D et al. (2014) Ethnic differences and predictors of colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen, and mammography screening participation in the multiethnic cohort. Cancer Epidemiol 38:162-7
Hopenhayn, Claudia; Christian, Amy; Christian, Warren Jay et al. (2014) Prevalence of human papillomavirus types in invasive cervical cancers from 7 US cancer registries before vaccine introduction. J Low Genit Tract Dis 18:182-9
Hernandez, Brenda Y; Goodman, Marc T; Unger, Elizabeth R et al. (2014) Human papillomavirus genotype prevalence in invasive penile cancers from a registry-based United States population. Front Oncol 4:9
Morimoto, Y; Conroy, S M; Ollberding, N J et al. (2014) Ethnic differences in serum adipokine and C-reactive protein levels: the multiethnic cohort. Int J Obes (Lond) 38:1416-22
Du, Lin; Robles, Andrew J; King, Jarrod B et al. (2014) Crowdsourcing natural products discovery to access uncharted dimensions of fungal metabolite diversity. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 53:804-9
Pettersson, Andreas; Graff, Rebecca E; Ursin, Giske et al. (2014) Mammographic density phenotypes and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst 106:
Morimoto, Yukiko; Beckford, Fanchon; Franke, Adrian A et al. (2014) Urinary isoflavonoid excretion as a biomarker of dietary soy intake during two randomized soy trials. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 23:205-9
Park, Song-Yi; Kolonel, Laurence N; Lim, Unhee et al. (2014) Alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk among women from five ethnic groups with light to moderate intakes: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Int J Cancer 134:1504-10

Showing the most recent 10 out of 112 publications