The Annual Biomedical Sciences & Health Disparities Symposium
attracts some of the top health science research and ideas from
throughout academia in Hawaii.
Medical Students, Residents, Medical
Fellows, Graduate Students, Post-Doctoral Fellows and Undergraduates are
invited to present their work. Research Associates and Faculty are
encouraged to attend. The Symposium will virtual this year. Both
presenters and non-presenter attendees must register to obtain the Zoom
Abstract submissions will be due March 1. The abstract portal will be open on February 1, 2021.
Jonna Ocampo, former INBRE student researcher at Leeward Community College in 2014-2015, will be pursuing her M.D. at the Ross University School of Medicine beginning this summer. Her experience working on the synthesis and biological evaluation of chalconoid antimicrobials with Dr. Bradley Ashburn and Dr. Helmut Kae inspired her to earn a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Molecular Medicine at the University of South Florida.
has been awarded numerous honors such as the NASA Florida Space Grant
Consortium Fellowship for her work on Transposon Expression Changes Induced by
Simulated Microgravity and has presented at national and international
conferences including the United Nations Expert Meeting on Human Space
Technology in Vienna, Austria and 4th Mexican Congress of Medicine and Space
Health, in Mexico City, Mexico.
Her former INBRE supervisor Bradley Ashburn says, “I have had the great pleasure to keep in contact with Jonna over the years and witness her growth into a high-achieving biomedical researcher. She works relentlessly to further the boundaries of science (literally speaking, she has performed experiments in microgravity space flights). Jonna embodies the spirit and success of the Hawaii INBRE program and will continue to make an impact as she pursues her dream to be a physician.”
Congratulations to Ashley Fukuchi for being a recipient of this year’s 2020-2021 AFPE Gateway award!!
The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and grants to aspiring researchers and academics to be able to conduct novel research in the pharmaceutical sciences arena that will impact the future of healthcare and patient outcomes. “The primary goal of the Gateway to Research Scholarship program is to help students understand the importance of research by enabling them to apply that knowledge to improve their clinical goals” (source: http://afpepharm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2019-Gateway-Description.pdf). Ashley was selected from a highly selective pool of applicants.
Ashley has received INBRE SRE stipends support for conducting research in Leng Chee Chang’s laboratory in the past.
Mentor: Leng Chee Chang, PhD, MS, The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, UH Hilo, Hawaii
Research Title: Evaluation of natural products-derived from medicinal plants as potential antimicrobial agents against non-tuberculosis mycobacteria
In recent years, the number of nontuberculous
mycobacterial pulmonary disease cases have increased globally, surpassing
tuberculosis in some countries. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is common in
the environment found in water and soil. People can come into contact with NTM
bacteria through simple, daily activities, such as showering or gardening.
Exposure to this aerosolized bacteriacan leads to NTM entering the lungs. In
some people, the bacteria infects the airways and lung tissue leading to
increased risk of getting NTM lung disease (NTMLD). Hawai‘i has been identified
as the state with the highest prevalence of NTMLD when compared with the
national average, and NTM is found to be common in the Hawaii environment.
Epidemiological studies show Mycobacterium chimaera, a slow-growing
NTM and member of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), predominates
in the Hawaiian environment and is the most frequently isolated NTM from lung
samples among Hawai‘i NTM patients. NTM is often associated with biofilm formation,
contributing to antibiotic resistance. Treatment for NTMLD is challenging
because treatment times are lengthy, a combination of drugs are needed, and
relapses following therapy are common resulting in substantial morbidity and
mortality. In addition, FDA-approved drugs that specifically treat NTMLD does
not exist at the current time. Thus, there is a need for novel treatment
approaches for NTM.
This project posits that phytochemicals
obtained from Hawaiian medicinal plants could represent novel treatment
approaches. Traditional medicine has a long history of treating human diseases,
including respiratory and lung infections. For example, active ingredients
extracted from the medicinal plant, ‘uhaloa, is used to treat sore throat,
asthma, and cough. Morinda citrifolia (fermented noni ) has been used
in traditional medicine for treating asthma, cough, tuberculosis, and
infectious diseases. This application proposes to examine traditional medicinal
sources as antimycobacterial agents to control NTM. We hypothesize that
natural products from Hawaiian medicinal plants may show antimicrobial activity
against Hawai‘ian derived NTM isolates.
The project goal is 1) Test the anti-NTM
activity of several medicinal plant extracts against M. chimaera. 2)
To identify major antimicrobial compounds from one most promising crude extract
that might be found in aim 1. This study will lead to the identification of
promising leads. Extracts and possibly compounds will be subjected to further
mechanisms of action in vitro studies.
Research Topic Areas:
Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of natural products against community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and bacteria infections.
Antimycobacterial activity of Hawaiian Medicinal Plants and marine algae against Nontuberculous Mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium chimaera isolated from Hawaii.
Phytochemical evaluation of tropical plants/crops for bioactive components as potential functional foods.
Evaluation of natural products as anticancer agents (NF-kB as Molecular Targets). To isolate and identify natural products-derived from medicinal plants and marine algae with potential anticancer activity.
INBRE Undergraduate student, Terezie Cernosek, published her first scientific paper titled, “Volatile Organic Compound Profiling from Postmortem Microbes using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry,” under the mentorship of Dr. Katelynn Perrault, Assistant Professor of Forensic Sciences and Chemistry at Chaminade University of Honolulu. Ms. Cernosek was a participant in the INBRE SRE program of Spring 2018 and was one of four Top Poster scores at the 2019 Biomedical Sciences & Health Disparities Symposium, Undergraduate Division. As a top poster score, INBRE sponsored her trip to the NIH IDeA Western Regional Conference in Las Vegas, NV, on October 6-9, 2019, where she was able to present her poster amongst her peers who reside in other IDeA states.
Marilyn Yamamoto, INBRE Undergraduate at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, has been accepted into medical school at Drexel College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Yamamoto participated in the INBRE Student Research Experience as an INBRE Associate in the Spring 2019 semester under the mentorship of Dr. Li Tao, Associate Professor in Biology. This is another great example of how INBRE facilitates students’ career pathways in the biomedical field. INBRE program wishes Marilyn much success in her academic career at Drexel!
The Top 4 INBRE IV Poster Presenters from the 2019 Biomedical Sciences & Health Disparities Symposium held on April 26, 2019 at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, attend the NIH IDeA Western Regional Conference on October 7-9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, to showcase their scientific posters on October 7-9, 2019. More photos of the event are available on Flickr.
On May 21-22, 2019, the EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation, National Association of IDeA Principal Investigators (NAIPI), and Van Scoyoc Associates hosted nine students for the second “Take Your IDeA Science to Capitol Hill” day. Ms. Destiny Mabalot, INBRE Undergraduate Student from the University of Hawaii at West Oahu, was selected as the Hawaii INBRE student ambassador. The purpose of the visit was to provide students the opportunity to illustrate the importance of their IDeA INBRE experiences and thank their senators and representatives for supporting the EPSCoR/IDeA programs. For more details, read the EPSCoR/IDeA Fall 2019 Newsletter here.
The INBRE Program Meeting and Biomedical Sciences & Health Disparities Symposium on April 26, 2019, was a great success with students expanding upon their academic activities. We had many faculty comments about the impressive quality of research and the manner of professional presentation – INBRE students you did yourself proud!
The scores are in for the Top 4 INBRE Undergraduate Student Poster Presentations. These students are invited to attend and participate in the NIH IDeA Western Regional Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 6 – 9, 2019. Registration, airfare, and lodging expenses will be covered by the INBRE program. The Top 4 scores are:
Terezie Cernosek, Chaminade University
Yaeko Tagami, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Nandini Bickel, Windward Community College
Maria Steadmon, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Well done and congratulations to all participants! We look forward to having you in the Student Research Experience program next semester or seeing you at graduation! Much success to you all.
A special ‘Thank You’ to all of you who participated in the INBRE Logo Contest. Who knew we had such a talented group of artists! We truly appreciate each and every one of you who took the time from your busy schedule to create some very unique and imaginative designs. The committee was impressed with the submissions overall, which really took the program’s key concepts to heart. So, as you can imagine, it was difficult to choose just one. With that being said….
Congratulations to ~ Diana Le ~ INBRE Student from Leeward Community College
As the winner of the INBRE Logo Contest, Diana will receive an award at the INBRE Program Meeting on April 26, 2019. Together with her design, skillset in Adobe Illustrator, and collaboration with the INBRE Logo Committee, we are very excited to share the new INBRE logo with all of you.
The new logo is available in two formats: Portrait (text on bottom) and Landscape (text on right). If you are planning to present in this year’s Biomedical Symposium, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the logo files. As a reminder, the poster printing deadline to UH Manoa PBRC is Friday, April 19, 2019.