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  • L- R: Bill Melohn, Dr. Carbone and Trudi Melohn.

L- R: Bill Melohn, Dr. Carbone and Trudi Melohn. More photos from the celebration are here.

The University of Hawai‘i has awarded the William and Ellen Melohn Chair in Cancer Biology to Dr. Michele Carbone in recognition of his research in cancer genetics.  This endowed chair was created with a generous gift from the Melohn family to the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center. 

Dr. Michele Carbone and colleagues recently published findings about the BAP1 cancer gene in Nature that describes the BAP1 Cancer Syndrome.  In this syndrome, mutations in the Bap1 gene result in a disorder that predisposes patients to environmental carcinogens such as asbestos and can lead to the development of mesothelioma, melanoma and other cancers.

“We are aiming to conduct a Phase I clinical trial in mesothelioma patients with BAP1 mutations.  We are really excited about that: it would be a dream going full circle from discovering a new disease to –hopefully- finding a cure for it,” said Dr. Carbone. “With the current constraints in federal research funding, it is critical that the private sector steps in to help. New cures for cancer are made because the Federal Government, Industry and private citizens join forces to accelerate the progress of medical research.”

UH Cancer Center Director Dr. Randall Holcombe said, “Philanthropic gifts from generous donors like the Melohn family provide critical funds for cancer research and support the Center’s effort to reduce the burden of cancer for the people of Hawai‘i.”

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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.