Research Capacity Core


Ben Fogelgren

Ben Fogelgren, PhD, Core Director, Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology is the Program Director (PD) of Ola HAWAII.  Dr. Fogelgren began his research career as a graduate student in an RCMI-funded laboratory, and is now an R01-funded investigator (R01DK117308) with a research interest in kidney diseases.  Dr. Fogelgren also is a Scientific Advisor on the Steering Committee for the University of Hawaii’s IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE IV, P20GM103466), and has been involved with University of Hawaii NIGMS-funded Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (P20GM103457, P20GM139753).  As the Ola HAWAII PD, Dr. Fogelgren works operationally with the Ola HAWAII Program Coordinator and serves as the main liaison between the Ola HAWAII Administrative Core and the Core Directors.

Sandra Chang

Sandra P. Chang, PhD, Associate Core Director, Research Infrastructure Core is Professor in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology and Chair of the Tropical Medicine Graduate Program.  Dr. Chang has engaged in mentoring and career development activities within the medical school and more broadly through facilitating and promoting inter-institutional research collaborations and faculty career development as part of the Research Coordinating Center of the RCMI Translational Research Network from 2012 through 2019.  Dr. Chang will manage the Research Studio Program at Ola HAWAII designed to enhance research productivity of developing investigators by providing consultations with a panel of experts to address specific issues in research project development, implementation, and outcomes.

Behavioral Research Support Facility

Jack Barile

Jack Barile, PhD, Director for the Behavioral Research Support Facility. He is the Interim Director of the Social Science Research Institute and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research focuses on assessing conditions and services that impact the health and well-being of historically marginalized communities. Dr. Barile and his team provide comprehensive social and behavioral expertise aligned with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research approaches for Ola HAWAII investigators.  This includes the development of questionnaires, surveys, and interview guides.

Biostatistics Support Facility

Hyeong Jun Ahn

Hyeong Jun Ahn, Ph.D., Director of the Biostatistics Support Facility, is Assistant Specialist of the Biostatistics of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences. He will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Biostatistics Facility. Dr. Ahn and his team will share their statistical research design expertise and provide comprehensive biostatistical analytical support to Ola HAWAII projects.

Clinical Research Support Facility

Cecilia Shikuma

Cecilia Shikuma, MD, Director, Clinical Research Support Facility is Edwin C. Cadman Endowed Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hawaii Center for AIDS. Dr. Shikuma has considerable expertise in HIV clinical trials and in research to understand the pathogenesis of HIV non-infectious co-morbidities including HIV associated dementia and cardiovascular risk. As Director of the Clinical Research Support Facility, she will provide her expertise to help optimize study design together with the other Ola HAWAII Cores. The Clinical Research Support Facility supports a clinical research infrastructure that includes trained research nurses and associates as well as a processing lab and clinic facilities and can therefore also help with study implementation.

Data Science Support Facility

Youping Deng

Youping Deng, Ph.D., is currently full professor of Bioinformatics, in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, at University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. He serves as the Director of Data Science Core at Hawaii RCMI.   He is well trained in genomics, molecular biology, computer science, and bioinformatics. He has over 20 years of experience in biomedical big data analysis and management.  He has successfully provided bioinformatics and data science support for numerous NIH proposals and publications. 

Histopathology Support Facility

Mariana Gerschenson

Mariana Gerschenson, PhD, Core Leader is Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Gerschenson will oversee the Histopathology Facility. Dr. Gerschenson has a PhD in experimental pathology and has completed graduate level coursework in histology and pathology. She has used imaging methodologies, histology and immunohistochemistry in her research. Dr. Gerschenson will provide education, training and service in histological and immunohistochemical methods, including tissue processing, preservation, sectioning (microtome and cryostat), staining, and troubleshooting new methods or reagents.

Regulatory & Compliance Support Facility

Venkataraman Balaraman

Venkataraman Balaraman, MBBS, Director, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and is the Associate Chair for Research at the Department of Pediatrics, JABSOM. He has been involved with multiple infrastructure research grants at JABSOM over the last 25 years and has extensive experience in providing support in the areas of Compliance and Regulatory Requirements.  As the Director of the RCS Facility he works closely with Kari Kim in assisting the investigators in all areas stated above and also the ability to provide ethics consultations if needed.

Kari Kim

Kari Kim, MPA, Associate Director, Regulatory Knowledge and Support, Research Infrastructure Core, Ms. Kim has 20+ years of experience in human subject protection advocacy and clinical study project development. She is well respected for her expertise in human subject protection and her work with investigators to develop safe research projects involving human subjects.  She is a member of several committees such as the University of Hawaii Institutional Review Boards, JABSOM Privacy Board, Kakaako Compliance Committee, Hawaii IRBs Consortium and Department of Heath Institutional Review Committee.  

Ms. Kim supports the investigators with regulatory guidance for their projects that involve human subject participants, biospecimens, or data.  She works closely with the investigators and other Ola HAWAII Cores to assure the investigator prioritizes human subject protection in their study development and implementation.