“Is this for real?”  was the first question in an email from Chaminade biology senior Maia Corpuz to her faculty mentor Dr. Jolene Cogbill. Corpuz received an email this week from The Endocrine Society, the nation’s premier scientific society for the study of endocrine disease (such as diabetes, reproduction, infertility, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and obesity). She and Chaminade colleague, biology major Alyssa Dixon, were selected for the Society’s prestigious national awards for excellence in undergraduate research.

“Both Alyssa and Maia presented their research at the ABRCMS national undergraduate research meeting in San Jose in December 2012, and were selected from almost 4000 students at this conference for these Endocrine Society awards, ” explained Dr. Helen Turner, Chaminade’s Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. ” We really are so proud of both of them. It is wonderful to see these students that we are preparing for medical school and biomedical PhD programs like Maia and Alyssa gaining national recognition.”

Chaminade faculty mentor Dr. Jolene Cogbill pointed out, “Admissions to MD or PhD programs are so competitive that Chaminade emphasizes gaining these research experiences to our students because they are such powerful additions on students’ resumes, as well as demonstrate personal commitment to solving global health issues either as doctors or researchers in their postgraduate careers.”

Every year more than 20 Chaminade science students participate in fully-funded summer research experiences at prestigious mainland institutions, and spend both summers and semester time performing research in Chaminade’s own research program, which focuses on Pacific health disparities such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, pre-term birth and liver cancer.  Demonstrated by cutting-edge laboratory and research facilities on its Honolulu campus and a sophisticated biomedical curriculum, Chaminade’s commitment to the biomedical pipeline is a key part of the school’s mission.

“Home-grown research on Pacific health problems is critical to engaging the students and having them commit to serve our community after graduation,” explained Dr. Turner. “Our students come back from their internships and can’t wait to get back in the lab”.  She noted that both Corpuz and Dixon have also performed research funded by the National Institutes of Health INBRE program at Chaminade on the respiratory toxicology of VOG and the problem of pre-term birth in Pacific Islander women.

Alyssa Dixon, Chaminade University Biology Major

Targeting Scr through drug combination therapy in Anaplastic and papillary thyroid cancer

Rebecca Schweppe, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, & Diabetes at University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus

Maia Corpuz, Chaminade University Biology Major

The Effect of Hypothalamic SirT1 Over-expression on Feeding and Reproductive Genes

Nicholas J. Webster, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research Facilities, professor of Medicine, and interim chief of Endocrinology at University of California-San Diego, Medical School

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 9681, which is its main campus. It also has nine satellite locations around Oahu. Chaminade University is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and looks forward to increased opportunities to promote environmental sustainability. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at www.chaminade.edu or call (808) 735-4711.###

HONOLULU—January 11, 2013

Media Contact: Kapono Ryan
(808) 735-4797