Population Sciences in the Pacific Program

Cancer Epidemiology

Cancer Epidemiology focuses on understanding the causes of cancer. A main goal of Cancer Epidemiology is to identify determinants of cancer risk and progression that drive the racial/ethnic differences in cancer incidence and mortality in Hawaiʻi.

Cancer Epidemiology members address the causes of commonly occurring cancers in the state, such as breast, lung, colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancers. Research areas include diet, nutrition, obesity, physical activity, infectious agents, tobacco products, betel nut, epigenetic, genetic, and other factors that cause susceptibility to cancers, microbiome, and risk prediction.

Cancer Epidemiology members have made seminal discoveries in understanding the mechanisms of ethnic/racial differences in lung cancer risk and the variations of body fat distribution across multiethnic populations.

Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention seeks to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in cancer in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific through development, implementation, and dissemination of cancer prevention interventions. Cancer Prevention members lead and participate in several national and regional coalitions of academic research centers and community health organizations seeking to reduce the burden of cancer in Hawaiʻi and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

A highlight of Cancer Prevention is the multiyear Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity (PIPCHE) project funded through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE) initiative. PIPCHE seeks to build research infrastructure in Guam and beyond with the purpose of fostering cancer research in the USAPI.