The University of Hawaii Cancer Center is requesting partial support for two (2) Staff Investigators, each of whom will focus on a strategic research/clinical area of major interest to the Cancer Center. James Turkson, PhD, a recent recruit to the University of Hawaii Cancer Center from the Moffit Cancer Center and the University of Central Florida, will lead the creation of a robust drug development initiative within the Cancer Biology Program with the goal of building scientific collaborations focused on translational research involving Cancer Center members from both the basic science programs and our clinical partners. Dr. Turkson has extensive experience in drug development having spent more than a decade designing and evaluating small molecule inhibitors of the signaling transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) protein. STAT-3 mediates the expression of a variety of genes in response to cell stimuli and plays a key role in many cellular processes, including the initiation and progression of various human cancers. Dr. Turkson has published over 50 peer reviewed papers and co-authored 4 issued patents and 8 provisional and pending patents in the field.

Public Health Relevance

Staff Investigators are important contributors to the programmatic and translational research activities of the Cancer Center. The two staff investigators identified here will advance 1) the development of a small molecule drug discovery program designed to promote novel preclinical and clinical studies and 2) expand our understanding of hepatocarcinoma, on multiple levels, including molecular, diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, ethnic disparities that affect clinical outcomes and community education on disease risks.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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University of Hawaii
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