Lenora W. M. Loo, PhD

Lenora W. M. Loo, PhD

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Faculty Director, Cancer Research Training, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Associate Professor (Associate Researcher), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

PhD (Genetics), University of Hawaiʻi

Research Focus

Dr. Loo’s research is focused on understanding the factors that contribute to differences in cancer risk and survival among diverse populations. Specifically, her research focuses on the characterization of genetic and epigenetic signatures that reflect the underlying biological mechanisms that contribute these differences in risk and mortality for breast and lung cancer. She works closely with population scientists to examine the complex interplay between demographics, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, genetics and biology. These multidisciplinary collaborations provide insights into how these factors may be contributing to the differences in an individual’s risk of developing and surviving cancer in diverse populations. She intends for her research findings to translate into improved tailored screening and treatment strategies that will lead to an increase in survival and quality of life for individuals with cancer.

Selected Publications

DeRouen MC, Yang J, Li Y, Franke AA, Tome AN, White KK, Hernandez BY, Shvetsov Y, Setiawan V, Wu AH, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Loo LWM, Cheng I. (2023). Circulating 27-hydroxycholesterol, lipids, and steroid hormones in breast cancer risk: a nested case-control study of the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Breast Cancer Res. Aug 14;25(1):95.

Taparra K, Fukui J, Killeen J, Sumida K, Loo LWM, Hernandez BY. (2021). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rates of Invasive Second Breast Cancer Among Women With Ductal Carcinoma In Situ in Hawai'i. JAMA Netw Open. Oct 1;4(10):e2128977.

Loo LWM, Williams M, Hernandez BY. (2019). The high and heterogeneous burden of breast cancer in Hawaii: A unique multiethnic U.S. Population. Cancer Epidemiol; Feb;58:71-76.

Loo LWM, Gao C, Shvetsov YB, Okoro DR, Hernandez BY, Bargonetti J. (2019). MDM2, MDM2-C, and mutant p53 expression influence breast cancer survival in a multiethnic population. Breast Cancer Res Treat; Feb;174(1):257-269.

Loo LWM, Nishibun K, Welsh L, Makolo T, Chong C, Pagano I, Yu H, Bantum EO. (2019). Using a Cultural Dance Program to Increase Sustainable Physical Activity for Breast Cancer Survivors – A Pilot Study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine; Dec;47:102197.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

L. Loo, Contact PI; I. Cheng, MPI
R01 CA229815-01
“The Role of 27-Hydrocholesterol in Breast Cancer: A Population-based Multiethnic Study”
03/2019 – 02/2024

L. Park, Contact PI; L. Loo, MPI
1R01 MD014862
“Comprehensive molecular characterization of lung cancers in five racial/ethnic groups with disparate risk”
02/2020 – 12/2024

G. Maskarinec, Contact PI; K. Kaholokula, MPI; L. Loo, MPI
1R25 CA244073
“Cancer Research Education, Advancement, Training and Empowerment (CREATE) in the Pacific”
07/2020 – 07/2025

L. Loo, Project co-leader; L. Le Marchand, Contact MPI; J. Berenberg MPI
“Hawaii Minority Health and Cancer Disparities SPORE”
09/2023 – 07/2026

L. Loo, PI
University of Hawaii Cancer Center
UHCC Pilot Study Award (Loo)
“Characterizing the Role of 27-Hydroxycholesterol in Colorectal Cancer in Hawaii’s Multiethnic Population"
05/2022 – 04/2023 (NCE)