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UHF staff

A $25,000 gift from Rick and Susie Fried to the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center will help support the groundbreaking research by Dr. Michele Carbone into one of the deadliest cancers, mesothelioma.

Rick and Susie FriedThe Frieds are longtime supporters of the UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law and UH Athletics. This is their first gift to the UH Cancer Center.

Carbone is the director of thoracic oncology at the Cancer Center and holds the William & Ellen Melohn Chair in cancer biology and human cancer genetics. He is also a special health and science advisor to Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green.

Carbone is an internationally recognized expert in the study of cancer genetics and mesothelioma, a cancer of the membranes covering the lungs, chest and abdomen that is resistant to therapy and leads to approximately 3,200 deaths per year in the U.S. It is often caused by exposure to asbestos.

Carbone had the vision that genetics caused familiar mesothelioma, studied his hypothesis in remote areas of the world, and designed the experiments to answer these questions. Carbone discovered that heterozygous germline BAP1 mutations modulate susceptibility to asbestos and to UV-light and thus cause mesothelioma and eye-melanoma, and elucidated the mechanisms.

Earlier this year, Drs. Carbone, Haining Yang and collaborators at the UH Cancer center may have discovered a key to increasing the survival rate of mesothelioma patients that could also ultimately be used to treat other types of cancer. Carbone’s research focuses on inherited genetic mutations that influence the preventative and therapeutic approaches to mesothelioma.

More recently, public impact research Drs.  Carbone, Yang and collaborators discovered that the HMGB1 protein plays a critical role in the development of asbestos-induced mesothelioma. Future research will examine how this protein influences cells at different stages in the disease to prevent or reduce the growth of mesothelioma.

Carbone has published numerous studies and is the recipient of awards for his research, including the Wagner Medal from the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, the Prize in American-Italian Relations, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation-Pioneer Award for discovering the BAP1 cancer syndrome and the Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for International Collaboration in Cancer Research for "discovering the causes of the Mesothelioma epidemics in Cappadocia, Turkey."

FOR UH • FOR HAWAIʻI, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, is focused on raising $1 billion to support UH priorities on all 10 campuses across the state, including student success; research that matters; kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi; sustainability, resilience and conservation; innovation and entrepreneurship; building Hawaiʻi’s workforce; and engaging our community. Learn more at

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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.