Hawaii Pathologists' Laboratory Partnership with Edwin Everest Foundation Furthers Clinical and Translational Research for the State of Hawaii

Hawaii Pathologists’ Laboratory (HPL) has partnered with the Edwin Everest Foundation from Los Angeles to further clinical and translational research for the State of Hawaii, funding a 10-year commitment of over $700,000. The program will support several internationally recognized pathology research fellows who are interested in partnering with HPL to build a personalized medicine program for patients with cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. The Edwin Everest Foundation is a non-profit research organization motivated by the primary mission to create groundbreaking initiatives throughout the health care industry by focusing on clinical research while expanding Graduate Medical Education opportunities.

“The Foundation is unique because it solely funds GME (Graduate Medical Education) and it also fosters the cross-pollination of clinical and translational researchers from all over the world,” said Mr. Greg Heffernan, Director of Foundation Relations. “We are actively helping top US Medical Schools with research that assists urban and rural underserved communities, and many mainland foundations don’t appreciate JABSOM (John A. Burns School of Medicine) and Hawaii’s unique needs in these areas of patient care,” he said.

“We were very excited about the unique opportunities of Pathology research at HPL and JABSOM. Our hope is that we can make a difference and share in the building a vision for the future at HPL.” The Foundation also currently funds research in translational pathology at UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Irvine School of Medicine in California.

Peter Bryant- Greenwood MD, MBA, Director of Laboratory Development, Hawaii Pathologists’ Laboratory elaborated “We are extremely pleased to be selected as one of the recipients of funding to support clinical and translational research for HPL, JABSOM, UHCC (University of Hawaii Community Colleges) and the Queen’s Medical Center. We are looking forward to developing partnerships with other Everest Foundations grantees: Keck/USC, UC Irvine, Northwestern, Georgetown, Stanford and Mt. Sinai NY.”

Dr. David Shimizu, Pathology Residency Program Director at HPL who helped develop the collaboration concurred that the Everest 10-year fund is a sustainable model that the Pathology Department can build on. “The fund will also allow for a bi-directional flow of ideas to and from Hawaii,” he said, adding that he hopes it will generate internal collaboration and studies in the future as the Everest fellows continue their research and attain positions of academic leadership.

“At this time of shrinking budgets from the National Institutes of Health we are fortunate to have private institutions to help support research that will benefit the population of Hawaii, including research into health disparities that adversely impact our own populations. Hawaii must explore technologies and advances in the global community and adapt such advances for our community in all the specialties.”

One of the Everest Foundation Fellows Dr. Vivek Radhakrishnan, a University of California biology undergraduate who studied international medicine in Guadalajara, Mexico praised Dr. Chris Lum, Associate Director of Molecular Diagnostics, who he has been working under at Queen’s Medical Center. “Working alongside Dr. Lum was an absolute pleasure. His work ethic and dedication speaks volumes and shows in his research efforts,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan, adding that his own molecular genomics background was elementary in the beginning, but after just a short time with Dr. Lum, he had learned so much and gained valuable capabilities that will guide him throughout his career as a Pathologist. “In an ever evolving field of medicine, Dr. Lum and the University of Hawaii are at the forefront of molecular genomics research, and diagnostic medicine and I’m honored to work at HPL,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan.

Dr. Gaurav Thakral, the second Everest Fellow, who comes with extensive research acumen from the University of Texas Southwestern echoed Dr. Radhakrishnan’s enthusiasm by sharing that from his first day at Queen’s Medical Center he was able to design his own project using state of the art diagnostic tools. “Coming to a large academic health center I was thrilled to discover that the program had everything I was looking for: supportive and kind faculty, welcoming residents that I could easily imagine befriending and a strong resident training program. My typical day is divided between writing publications, research activities, resident lectures, and looking at specimens with an attending,” said Dr. Thakral.

Hawaii Pathologists’ Laboratory (HPL) is the leading provider of Pathology and Molecular Diagnostic services to Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. HPL is an independent medical group of sixteen Pathologists that has served Hawaii’s community for close to 50 years. HPL works with clinicians, researchers, and hospital and laboratory partners to provide the diagnostic information to help manage health and disease across all specialities of medical care. To learn more about HPL visit www.hpllab.com. To learn more about the Edwin Everest Foundation visit www.edwineverestfoundation.com.

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