Annual Report 2023 | Page 3

DIRECTOR ’ S message

Aloha Kākou ,
Reflecting on the journey of the University of Hawai ‘ i Cancer Center in 2023 , I am filled with immense gratitude and pride . December 12 , 2022 , marked the beginning of an incredible tenure for me , one that has been both challenging and immensely rewarding . I am grateful to our faculty , staff , and students for their unwavering dedication to cancer research , patient care , and community impact .
One of our first priorities was to develop a strategic plan to set overall goals and measurable outcomes as well as serve as a guide to determine our future direction . This collective effort will lead to our newly established vision of becoming a global cancer screening , prevention , treatment , and education leader . Mahalo for your commitment to our core values of Ho ‘ oulu , Kuleana , Laulima , and Pono , which drive our mission forward .
A major highlight this year was the successful submission of the National Cancer Institute ( NCI ) Cancer Center Support Grant in September . The NCI designation is a prestigious institutional honor that the UH Cancer Center has upheld for nearly 40 years . This accomplishment is a testament to our team ’ s hard work and commitment to excellence .
Furthermore , establishing a robust clinical research operation is a beacon of progress . In coordination with our Hawai ‘ i Cancer Consortium partners , our focus was to fortify a solid foundation to support clinical trials , recruit experienced faculty to provide the best care for cancer patients , and expand to include early phase clinical trials , bringing new hope and possibilities in cancer care for Hawai ‘ i and the Pacific . We expect to open our Early Phase Clinical Research Center in mid-2025 .
Naoto T . Ueno , MD , PhD
Several multi-principal investigator grants that address health disparities , equity , and genomics were awarded this year . This paves the way for novel discoveries , enhancing our understanding of cancer and bringing us closer to more effective treatments . These collaborative efforts advance our scientific pursuits and foster a spirit of unity and shared purpose .
The UH Cancer Center remains steadfast in being the best NCI-designated cancer center that profoundly impacts our communities in Hawai ‘ i and the Pacific . We are making tremendous strides in understanding cancer and developing innovative prevention , diagnosis , and treatment methods thanks to our clinical trial participants , faculty , staff , students , and collaborative partners .
Mahalo to everyone who has been a part of this remarkable journey . Your support , hard work , and belief in our mission have propelled and continue to propel our success . Here ’ s to many more years of innovation , discovery , and making a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer .
Mālama pono ,
Naoto T . Ueno , MD , PhD