Investigator Development

Tetine Sentell

Tetine Sentell, PhD, Director, Investigator Development Core is responsible to provide oversight of all pilot and R-level research. She is a Professor and Interim Dean of the Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health. Dr. Sentell has published over 100 papers and has been PI or Co-I on 15+ extramurally funded projects since arriving at UH in 2009. Dr. Sentell has extensive mentoring experience of graduate students and junior faculty into funded research projects and high-level publications in national and international journals. She has a long-standing expertise in studying health outcomes and health communication across diverse racial/ethnic groups using mixed-methods and clinical administrative data, with a particular interest in health literacy and co-leads the Healthy Hawai‘i Initiative Evaluation Team (HHIET) at UH, a major contract with the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division at the Hawai‘i Department of Health (HDOH). Dr. Sentell is also the academic lead of a collaborative social media campaign with the Native Hawaii and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resilience team to amplify voices of the youth of Hawaiʻi across diverse languages to support community health.

Elizabeth Tam

Elizabeth Tam, MD, Co-Director is responsible for providing oversight of the Team-Science Mentoring Bootcamp and Team-Science Pilot Projects Program. Dr. Tam is Professor and Chair of Medicine and the American Lung Association of Hawaii and Leahi Fund Endowed Chair in Respiratory Health. Her R01 research has focused on how sulfur dioxide released from the Kilauea volcano (Big Island of Hawaii) is measured and what affects its dispersal to  different communities on the island of Hawaii. Much ofher research has involved community engagement and participation. Dr. Tam was the previous Program Director for the RCMI Clinical Research Center. She has mentored 29 pre-docs and 8 Assistant Professors.

Richard Yanagihara

Richard Yanagihara, MD, MPH, Research Navigator is Professor of Pediatrics and a COBRE PI who was previously associated with the G12 RCMI as an activity leader in 1995–2000 and as Program Director in 2000–2011 and has served as Director of the RTRN Research Coordinating Center since 2009. Dr. Yanagihara is well qualified to foster inter-institutional collaborations and mentoring between Ola HAWAII, RTRN, RIC, CEC, IDC and will assist with the implementation of a career development program, which is personalized to each of the R01- and R21-type research project investigators. Dr.Yanagihara will assist Drs. Berry and Tam with coordination of the Team-Science Mentoring Bootcamp and Team-Science Pilot Projects Program.