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Pacific  Biosciences  Research  Center


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

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Learn about seminars, news and events by reading faculty-submitted posts.
Sting Treatment

PBRC researcher Angel Yanagihara has developed a therapy that blocks the burning sting of the Hawaiian box jellyfish. This therapy also blocks the venom of more deadly jellyfish stings such as the Australian box jellyfish, preventing cardiac arrest or even death.

Her findings and data from years of research are the subject of an article published December 12 in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Conservation Video

The Hawai'i Conservation Alliance (HCA) has created a video celebrating it's 20th anniversary (click the picture at right to view the video online).

The HCA is a collaborative partnership among 22 government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. The University of Hawai'i is linked to the HCA through PBRC's Center for Conservation Research and Training.

Feeding Nemo

Photo from Wikipedia

PBRC researchers Petra Lenz and Dan Hartline have been awarded $0.5M by NSF to study predator-prey interactions between larval clown fish and copepods. The team will collaborate with Dr. Rudi Strickler of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Dr. Ed Buskey, of the University of Texas' Marine Sciences Institute in Port Aransas.


Photo from Wikipedia
Together the team will record, with unprecedented temporal and 3D spatial resolution, the capture attempts of the fish on the highly-evasive copepods using state-of-the-art high-speed inline digital holography, supported by the computing power of PBRC's Computer Network Support Facility BEOWULF cluster. The study will examine diversity in escape strategies among Hawaiian copepod species, comparing it to diversity in nervous system structure-function, and ultimately expanding into comparisons with mainland copepods and fish that use alternative predatory strategies.

Swimming With Jellyfish
Photo by Angel Yanagihara

PBRC researcher Angel Yanagihara assisted with Diana Nyad's latest attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West. Yanagihara provided expertise by testing swimsuit fabrics and accompanying Nyad's team on the support vessel.

PBS Newshour Article
Training Pacific Island Educators
Photo by Michael Hadfield, Kewalo Marine Laboratory

A group of 10 instructors from community colleges throughout the Pacific Islands visited the Kewalo Marine Laboratory August 6-8, 2012 to learn about genetic linkages in the Pacific Ocean from scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Stanford University and the Center for Ocean Solutions in Monterey, California.

UH Press Release
International Research Training
Hayes chatting with IRES collaborator Mariana Meerhoff (far right) on a river bank in Uruguay
Ken Hayes visits the collections of the British Museum
The National Science Foundation's International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program has awarded a $149,952 grant to Kenneth Hayes and Robert Cowie of PBRC's Center for Conservation Research and Training, Dr. Romi Burks of Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas and an international team of researchers from Uruguay and Brazil.

The IRES program gives undergraduate and graduate students from US institutions the opportunity to carry out international research projects in host countries with the goal of educating a globally-engaged science workforce. Under the direction of Hayes and Burks this IRES award will support 15 undergraduate students and one graduate student to conduct collaborative research in Brazil and Uruguay for three years.

UH Press Release
International Workshop
Robert Cowie
Parmarion martensi
A tiny semi-slug implicated in the spread of rat lungworm.
Rat Lungworm Disease Scientific Workshop
Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
August 16-18, 2011

Dr. Robert Cowie, with colleagues from the University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Hilo and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, organized this transdisciplinary international workshop. The workshop addressed all aspects of this important emerging infectious disease that is caused by a parasitic worm and which can cause coma and even death. Scientists and clinicians from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, Jamaica, the U.S. mainland and Hawaii covered everything from the biology and control of the snail and rat hosts of the parasite, detection of the parasite in the hosts, pathways via which people become infected and ways to reduce the chances of infection, to the epidemiology of the disease, its diagnosis and treatment.

UH Press Release       Workshop Website
Madame President
D. Caroline Blanchard
Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology researcher D. Caroline Blanchard is now serving as the elected president for the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. The Society will be meeting in Kona in June 2012. Blanchard is a former president of the International Society for Research on Aggression.

News@UH Article
Highly Rated
A newly published article by Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology Director Dan Hartline and his colleague Caroline Wilson was rated in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine by the Faculty of 1000.

Novel organization and development of copepod myelin. II. nonglial origin
J Comp Neurol. 2011 Nov 1;519(16):3281-305.
Grant Awarded
Kaala subrutila
Ken Hayes
Norine Yeung
Robert Cowie
Brenden Holland
The National Science Foundation's Biodiversity Discovery and Analysis program has awarded a $650,000 grant to PBRC researchers studying the biodiversity and conservation status of native land snails in Hawai'i. The grant has been awarded to Dr. Kenneth Hayes and collaborators, Drs. Robert Cowie, Brenden Holland and Norine Yeung, of PBRC's Center for Conservation Research and Training.

UH Press Release
Program Featured
Robert Richmond's Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islanders program was recently featured in U.S. News and World Report. The three-year, $837,000 program is funded by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education initiative.

U.S News and World Report Article
Abolishment Rejected by BOR
UH Board of Regents
On May 19, 2011 the University of Hawaii Board of Regents considered the proposal from UH Manoa Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Gary Ostrander to abolish the Pacific Biosciences Research Center. Following hours of public testimony and discussion, the motion to approve the abolishment failed to carry on a tie vote of 7-7.

The matter has been referred to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood for further consideration, but any future plans for abolishment or reorganization would again be subject to approval by the Board of Regents.

Sad News
M.E. "Jeff" Bitterman
Morton Edward ("Jeff") Bitterman, Emeritus Professor in PBRC and the Department of Psychology, died on May 10 in San Francisco at the age of 90. Jeff was an extraordinarily gifted experimental psychologist and some of his many accomplishments and awards are summarized in the obituary written by his family. The entire PBRC family is saddened by this loss. In the words of a colleague: "We have lost a giant".

Honolulu Star Bulletin Obituary
PBRC Alumnus Honored
Casey Dunn
Casey Dunn, a former PBRC Postdoctoral Fellow who worked with Mark Martindale at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, has been awarded the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award by the National Science Foundation. Dunn is now an Assistant Professor at Brown University.

Dunn is the tenth scientist in the biological sciences category, and only the second evolutionary biologist, to receive the award since its inception in 1976. Congratulations Casey!

NSF Press Release
Undergraduate Research in PBRC
Robert Young
Monica Orcine
Five PBRC research trainees participated in the Annual Spring Symposium of undergraduate research and creative work sponsored by the Honors Program. Robert Young received 2nd place for his oral presentation in the project category, and Crystal Morton received Honorable Mention for her oral presentation in the proposal category. Other participants were Monica Orcine, Amanda Lee and Kelsea Hosoda. Crystal and Kelsea are students in the UH MARC Program.
Monica Orcine also participated in the Biomedical Sciences Symposium at the John A. Burns School of Medicine on April 20. She received 1st place in the undergraduate poster presentation category. Monica is graduating this year and will be moving on to a Master's Program at King's College, London.
Visionary Research
Mark Martindale
Yale Passamaneck
A team of researchers that include Mark Martindale and post-doc Yale Passamaneck of PBRC's Kewalo Marine Laboratory have published a ground-breaking article in the on-line journal EvoDevo. The novelty of their findings prompted articles in the New York Times and The Scientist.

EvoDevo Abstract   •   NY Times article   •   The Scientist article
UH Press Release   •   Video of Yale Discussing the Results
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