Asia/Pacific region - study ground for JABSOM students

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 2, 2009

HONOLULU—The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and University of Hawaiʻi Foundation have announced a $100,000 pledge from the Noguchi Medical Research Institute (NMRI) of Tokyo to create the Drs. Junji B. Machi and Satoru Izutsu Endowed Fund in Global Health and Medicine. This fund is designed to assist approximately 10 fourth year JABSOM medical students annually by providing international study grants to help defray the cost of participating in for-credit, clinical medical electives in the Asia/Pacific region, with an initial focus in Japan. This international study grant can be used to help defray the costs of airfare, lodging, meals, and any incidentals associated with the clinical elective abroad.

"International exchange, while logistically very manageable, has become financially more challenging. This endowment could not have come at a better time, nor could it recognize faculty more deserving," said Jerris R. Hedges, MD, MS, MMM, dean and professor of medicine, Barry and Virginia Weinman Endowed Chair.

The fund is already helping a current fourth year medical student. The first grant recipient is Brian K. Nishiguchi who is spending the month of April in a cardiology rotation at Tokyo Women‘s Hospital in Japan where he will gain insights into the similarities and differences in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in Japan and the United States.

By establishing this fund, Yoshihisa Asano, founder of NMRI, is honoring Dr. Junji B. Machi and Dr. Satoru Izutsu for their dedication and commitment to developing physicians as life-long learners, with the capacity to access and use global medical information in addressing world health issues. Both doctors have worked on Japan/USA student exchange programs and welcome this opportunity for JABSOM students.

"I have met and am meeting many enthusiastic students in the United States as well as in Japan," said Dr. Junji B. Machi. "It is my responsibility but also my great pleasure and honor to support JABSOM students with great potential through this fund, which, I believe, will contribute to global health and medicine in the future."

Dr. Satoru Izutsu added, "I am honored to carry on the legacy of Dr. Noguchi‘s commitment to building a global health perspective in young physicians."

Dr. Izutsu is senior associate dean and professor emeritus of public health and
psychiatry at JABSOM where his responsibilities include serving as chair of the Admissions Committee and director of the Office of Global Health and Medicine. He also serves as a member of the boards of Kuakini Medical Center and Kuakini Health System.

Dr. Izutsu has been involved with the Noguchi Foundation and NMRI for over 10 years. With a broad international focus, he has also served as a volunteer in Serbia, former Yugoslavia; coordinator for the initiation of a health delivery program in Thailand; director of projects related to population planning in seven Southeast Asia countries; and, administrator of various health projects in Micronesia and the South Pacific. He has been the liaison officer from the University of Hawaiʻi to the Postgraduate Medical Education Program at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa for
the past 20 years.

Dr. Machi is a faculty member of the Department of Surgery at JABSOM and current president of NMRI. He is a general surgeon and a scientist, who has specialized in ultrasound. He served as a director of Abdominal Ultrasound in the American College of Surgeons. In addition, he is an educator for both JABSOM and several Japanese organizations including NMRI. With his support, a number of Japanese people have learned medicine at JABSOM. His dream is to establish an American/JABSOM-style educational system in Japan.

NMRI is named in honor of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, a physician and scientist, (1876 —1928), who was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist credited with discovering the agent of syphilis in 1911. Dr. Noguchi was nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize, according to the Nobel Foundation archives and since 2004, his portrait has been printed on the Japanese 1000 yen bill. In 1900 he moved from Japan to the United States. Dr. Noguchi's influence was felt throughout the world, and his research led to extensive travels in Central and South America where he conducted
research on vaccines for yellow fever, Oroya fever, poliomyelitis, and trachoma. Dr. Noguchi saw young physicians as ambassadors of goodwill with the unwavering belief that medicine, science and health have no boundaries and that good health is a right for all human beings.

"We, the Noguchi, are proud of the State of Hawaiʻi where the Japanese spirit, legacy and legend of Bushido, still remains strong in a place other than Japan, through the long history of both Hawaiʻi and Japan," said Yoshihisa Asano, founder of the Noguchi Medical Research Institute of Tokyo, Japan. "And also, the Noguchi is very pleased to build up the Drs. Machi & Izutsu Fund eternally to develop a human's immortal goal ʻHow to live happily with quality care through advanced medicine.'"

Yoshihisa Asano is the founder, a past-president and a chairman of the trustees of NMRI. He is a specialist in dietetics and worked for pharmaceutical companies before he founded NMRI with recognition of the importance of health care and medical education. He is a talented business manager as well as a scientist, and his capability has contributed significantly to the financial activity of NMRI. Without his effort and enthusiasm, NMRI could not have become renowned and established its identity.

Noguchi Medical Research Institute (NMRI) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1983 in Philadelphia, named after Dr. Hideyo Noguchi. The mission of NMRI is to enhance medical exchange between the United States and Japan, particularly to support Japanese health care providers, mostly young physicians, to learn clinical medicine and education in the U.S. During the last quarter-century, NMRI has helped several hundred physicians and medical students to come to the U.S., especially the University of Hawaiʻi and Thomas Jefferson University. In 2008, NMRI celebrated its 25th anniversary. Please visit for NMRI (website is in Japanese).

The John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Mānoa was established in 1965 as a two-year program, and became a four-year degree-granting school in 1973. It is Hawaiʻi‘s only medical school and has trained almost 2,000 medical doctors to date. Approximately half of the physicians practicing in Hawaiʻi are graduates of the John A. Burns School of Medicine MD or residency program. For more information about JABSOM, please visit

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. Our mission is to unite our donors‘ passions with the University of Hawaiʻi's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. Please visit www.uhf.