Diabetes Center

From left: Takashi Matsui, Rachel Boulay, Ralph Shohet, Marjorie Mau, Mariana Gerschenson, Olivier LeSaux, Viola Pomozi, Michael Corley, Noemi Polgar, Alexander Stokes

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has been awarded a $11.2 million federal National Institutes of Health grant to create a diabetes research center at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), according to a UH News story.

The grant is for a five-year period, but it may be renewed for two additional five-year periods. The center will be directed by Mariana Gerschenson, JABSOM’s director of research and graduate education.  

Currently, 155,000 adults and children have diabetes in Hawai‘i, and another 460,000 have pre-diabetes, a condition which puts someone at greater risk of developing diabetes.  

JABSOM’s research will encompass both diabetes and pre-diabetes and will take into account Hawai‘i's ethnically diverse population. According to previous JABSOM research, 22.4 percent of Native Hawaiians have diabetes and those with Asian or Pacific Island heritage are also at a statistically higher risk of developing diabetes. 

"Diabetes is a deadly, rapidly expanding threat in America, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders population is up to two times more likely than other ethnic groups in the islands,” JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges said in the story. 

Ka Leo reached out to Gerschenson for comment on how exactly the $11.2 million grant will be spent, but did not receive comment at the time of publication.