The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center is dedicated to reducing the cancer burden in Hawaiʻi and the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) through research, education, patient care, and community outreach, emphasizing the unique ethnic, cultural, and environmental characteristics of the region.

Our comprehensive approach is rooted in the unique ethnic and racial diversity of our catchment area, which is distinguished by cancer health disparities, geographic isolation, socio-economic challenges, medical provider shortages (especially in rural or isolated areas), an aging population, rich environmental biodiversity, and a history of traditional medicine.

These unique characteristics drive our efforts, enabling us to define research priorities, develop interventions targeted for these unique populations, and promote cancer health equity for racial and ethnic groups specific to our catchment area.

Our work impacts the local community and addresses cancer challenges in the broader Pacific region, making UH Cancer Center a vital hub for cancer research and control, and public health policy in this underserved geographical area.

Research Programs

UH Cancer Center is organized into two Research Programs: Population Sciences in the Pacific (PSP) and Cancer Biology (CB). Each Program combines exploration of basic cancer mechanisms and etiologies for targeted interventions, facilitating the translation of discoveries into cancer prevention and treatment applications for our diverse population. Our commitment to innovative research is evident through our funding base of $15 million in peer-reviewed funding, with 60% from the NCI. Collaboration is at our core, with 37 Members in PSP and 40 in CB, fostering an exceptional level of intra-programmatic, inter-programmatic, and inter-institutional research collaborations and publications.

Research Shared Resources

Five vital Shared Resources support our research goals: Analytical Biochemistry, Biostatistics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Nutrition Support, and the developing Body Composition Lab. They are each described in detail on separate pages.

Research Training and Community Engagement

Our Research Programs, Community Outreach and Engagement, Cancer Research Training (CRT) initiatives, and clinical trials prioritize cancers that are causes for concern in our catchment area while driving our Plan to Enhance Diversity through institutionally aligned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies.

By leveraging the unique ethnic, cultural, and environmental attributes, we pioneer innovative solutions for reducing the cancer burden, which leads to promoting health equity, fostering diversity, and advancing cancer research that is impactful for our community and beyond.

Become a UH Cancer Center Member

Dear Researchers,

We are delighted to invite you to become a member of our Cancer Center. Faculty employed by the UH Cancer Center, faculty from other UH units, and non-UH partner institutions can apply for membership using the membership application form found on the UH Cancer Center website or available by request. There are several membership categories including Full, Associate, Clinical and Affiliate. Membership appointment requires meeting one of the following criteria. Category of the appointment is based on your level of cancer-related research:

  1. Have cancer-related publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  2. Provide a significant and independent clinical, translational, or basic science research contribution.
  3. Play a key role in a national cooperative group.

The specific requirements for each membership category is available upon request. Members enjoy benefits, including:

  1. Eligibility to compete for UH Cancer Center pilot projects
  2. Subsidized use of UH Cancer Center Shared Resources
  3. Association with one of our Research Programs
  4. Invitations to scientific retreats, seminars, and special programs
  5. Profile inclusion on the UH Cancer Center website

Members commit to:

  1. Actively participate in at least one cancer center research programs
  2. Develop Inter- and intra-programmatic research collaborations leading to publications and proposals
  3. Provide annual updates of cancer-focused funding, publications, accruals, and leadership roles (nationally & institutionally).
  4. Acknowledge the use of cancer center shared resources, salary support, and/or research development awards.

We look forward to your application and hope to welcome you to our community soon.


John Shepherd
Chair of the Membership Committee

Become a UH Cancer Center member