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Population Sciences in the Pacific

The PSP Program conducts population research to understand the reasons why cancer incidences and mortality vary substantially across different racial/ethnic populations in Hawai'i and the Pacific. From this understanding, researchers in PSP further study intervention strategies to prevent cancer and improve the survival and life quality of cancer patients in Hawai'i and the Pacific. The specific research areas that PSP focuses on are diet, nutrition, lifestyle, infectious agents, obesity, substance use (tobacco, e-cigarette, and betel nut), genetic susceptibility, molecular features and microbiome characteristics. PSP also studies cancer risk in relation to behavioral and psychosocial factors as well as cultural influences and community's impact on cancer prevention. Cancer survivorship is also a focus of PSP research in order to improve disease outcome and prolong patient survival. Consistent with the research focus, PSP has expertise in nutritional epidemiology, molecular/genetic epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, population genetics, molecular biology, metabolomics, clinical/health psychology, public health and medicine. Program members are also in close interaction and collaboration with cell/molecular biologists, geneticists, biochemists, pathologists, clinicians and various other investigators within the UH Cancer Center, in other departments of the University of Hawai'i, and at other academic centers and government agencies outside Hawai'i.

Over the years, PSP has established several valuable resources for population-based research which include a state-wide tumor registry (Hawai'i Tumor Registry), a population-based prospective cohort (Multiethnic Cohort), and a community-based outreach network. As gene-environment interaction is a force in cancer development, PSP has also developed laboratory facilities to measure genetic and molecular factors associated with cancer risk or tumor progression and effects of behavioral and lifestyle interventions for cancer prevention and survivorship.

Contact Information:

PSP Program
701 Ilalo Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Program Co-Leader:

Thomas A Wills, PhD

(808) 586-3076

(808) 586-3077

Program Co-Leader:

Herbert Yu, MD, PhD

(808) 586-2985

(808) 586-2982

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