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October 18, 2012

David Curb
Physician-scientist J. David Curb, MD, MPH

Physician-scientist J. David Curb, MD, MPH, long associated with the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine's Department of Geriatric Medicine and the Kuakini Medical Center, died January 8, 2012 at the age of 66.

Dr. Curb's impact on health care in the islands was significant. He brought numerous research projects to Hawaiʻi, including the national Women's Health Initiative, a long-term study of womenʻs health. The author of more than 400 articles in medical journals during his career, Curb also served as a mentor to dozens of researchers who have authored groundbreaking studies of their own.

Among the pioneering studies by Curb's protégés was the 2008 discovery under Kuakini Medical Center sponsored research which first identified a gene linked to longevity. Dr. J. Bradley Willcox found a higher prevalence of the FOX O3A gene in Japanese-American men who lived to age 100 or older. Willcox and his associates, including Dr. Curb, reached their conclusion after studying data from the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program (HHP), which since 1965 has been observing the incidence of coronary heart disease and stroke in about 8,000 men of Japanese ancestry living on Oʻahu. Dr. Curb led research at the Kuakini HHP, which has also played an important role in the U.S. government's recommended dietary guidelines, in the development of "smoke-free" programs for primary and secondary schools, and in the development of rehabilitation programs for heart attack victims.

Dr. Curb's career also included serving as Associate Director of the National Institute on Aging, where he headed the country's studies into patterns of disease in old age.

Gifts in Dr. Curb's honor may be made to the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation to benefit the J. David Curb, MD Memorial Fund at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

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